The First New Turrets Arrive
St. Gregory’s University has reached a milestone in the restoration of historic Benedictine Hall with the installation of new southeastern and a southwestern turrets. The building lost its four “crowning towers” to earthquake damage in November 2011.
The 56-foot long, 16,000-pound turrets, which are built out of plate steel and installed by Bennett Steel, of Sapulpa, Okla., will serve as an anchor for the masonry work to follow and add stability to the nearly 100-year-old structure. The inside of the turrets consists of a series of ladders and landings that extend to the top to provide maintenance access after all structural work has been completed.
“The original structure was all brick,” said Project Superintendent Ken Sleeper of Timberlake Construction. “The new towers give the building a steel structure to tie back into, and in the event of a tremor, it will have a certain amount of flexibility that will prevent it from coming off like the other ones did. I’m sure it will be good for another 105 years.”
Rebuilding the turrets is just the first part of the Benedictine Hall Centennial Restoration Project, a multi-million dollar project funded by donations from more than 3,400 donors, which the university plans to complete in advance of the building’s centennial anniversary in 2015.
The final two turrets are projected to be installed before the end of summer 2013.