St. Gregory's University to kick off Benedictine Hall restoration project

St. Gregory's will kick off the restoration of a campus landmark Monday. The university will hold a brief ceremony commemorating the beginning of the Benedictine Hall Centennial Restoration Project at 10 a.m. at Benedictine Hall.
by Silas Allen Modified: March 4, 2013 at 10:07 pm •  Published: March 4, 2013
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— St. Gregory's University will kick off the restoration of a campus landmark Monday.

The university will hold a brief ceremony commemorating the beginning of the Benedictine Hall Centennial Restoration Project at 10 a.m. Monday at Benedictine Hall on the St. Gregory's University campus.

The ceremony will include remarks from St. Gregory's President Greg Main and a blessing by the Abbot Lawrence Stasyszen of St. Gregory's Abbey.

University officials shuttered the iconic Benedictine Hall after a 5.6-magnitude earthquake shook Oklahoma in November 2011, causing damage to the 98-year-old structure.

One of the building's four turrets fell to the ground during the quake. The other three turrets were damaged and had to be removed.

Broken windows, roof damage and the danger of falling bricks prompted university officials to close the building, which housed most of the university's faculty and administrative offices, as well as classrooms and science labs. Classes resumed in the building in January 2012.

Besides repairing the damage caused in the earthquake, university officials plan to renovate the building, said university spokeswoman Breanne Hill. Various changes have been made to the building over the decades, she said, including a major renovation project in the 1960s. The upcoming renovations will undo many of those changes, she said.

“We're basically trying to restore it to its original look,” she said.

by Silas Allen
General Assignment/Breaking News Reporter
Silas Allen is a news reporter for The Oklahoman. He is a Missouri native and a 2008 graduate of the University of Missouri.
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