SHAWNEE — The ragged edges where turrets once stretched atop Benedictine Hall at St. Gregory’s University soon will be restored.
University President Greg Main said the school has $4.7 million to begin restoration around the first of the year.
“The building looks sad and bruised right now,” Main said. “We’re excited to get started on this soon.”
All four turrets were damaged during the 5.6-magnitude earthquake on Nov. 5, 2011. One fell during the quake, raining brick masonry through windows and down the side of the building. Another had to be pushed down because it was precariously positioned after the jolt. Two others were disassembled brick by brick.
Now the building has four scars at each of its top corners.
Improvements planned for the building include updates to the front and rear entries, weatherproofing and waterproofing, repairing brickwork, replacing the roof and windows and rebuilding the turrets.
The building was added to the National Registry of Historic Places in 1975. All work done will be in line with the original character and design of the hall, Main said.
After the exterior work, a second phase of construction on the interior will include office renovations, updates to the entryway and an addition of a welcome center.
“We want to be a shining building here when we celebrate our centennial in 2015,” Main said.
Damage from the earthquake forced classes to be moved wherever they could fit and offices were relocated for about six weeks after the quake. Benedictine Hall has been the main building on the campus since its completion in 1915. The building with its soaring turrets can be seen from miles away.
Main said he learned after the earthquake how much the building and the school mean to people — about 3,200 people contributed $2.5 million toward its restoration.
A touching donation came from a Catholic elementary school in Tulsa that took up collections to donate to the university.
Main said about $1 million will need to be raised to pay for the entirety of the project, in addition to already donated funds and tax credits.