First phase of Benedictine Hall restoration complete
Construction projects continue on the St. Gregory’s Shawnee campus
Today marked the completion of the restoration of the front steps to St. Gregory's University's historic Benedictine Hall, thus ending the first phase of an ongoing construction project for the 100 year old building and campus icon.
Since the earthquake in November 2011 that caused significant damage to Benedictine Hall, St. Gregory's has embarked upon a multi-year construction project to reconstruct the damaged areas. The recently completed front steps were reconstructed down to the foundation, with new steps installed and the remainder of the entrance restored to its original grandeur.
"For the campus community, this is one of the most visible completions of the work we are doing, short of the completion of the turrets," said Harley Lingerfelt, Vice President of Operations for St. Gregory's. "We are pleased that we could have this project completed before May's convocation and give our graduating students an opportunity to stand on these steps with their classmates to celebrate their accomplishments."
In preparation for a growing student body and a new degree program, St. Gregory's is also conducting several renovations to the Mark Braun and DeGrasse Residence Halls. The improvements not only include new rooms for students, but also new offices and labs for St. Gregory's new Catholic Nursing Program.
St. Gregory's Abbey has also completed the second phase of its own program of renovations that began three years ago, which included the restoration of deteriorated mortar, cleaning all of the exterior surfaces and application of a protective coating that will help preserve the Church for generations to come.
The next phase of work on the Abbey Church will be the restoration of its priceless stained-glass windows.
"The existing protective coverings that have become very clouded and deteriorated since they were installed some forty years ago will be replaced," said Abbot Lawrence Stasyszen, O.S.B. "This will greatly enhance the exterior appearance of the windows as well as allow for a greater amount of light enter into the Church."
Ongoing fundraising efforts are in place for both Benedictine Hall renovations and St. Gregory's Abbey to help cover the expenses of construction and renovation.