Iconic St. Gregory's building damaged in last year's earthquake to be restored

Construction on Benedictine Hall in Shawnee will start around the first of the year.
BY VALLERY BROWN vbrownl@opubco.com Published: November 7, 2012
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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.