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Benedictine Hall blessing held before construction

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SHAWNEE, Okla.—Over a year after an earthquake crumbled parts of Benedictine Hall, officials at St. Gregory’s University are starting the rebuilding process.

In 2011, the building lost its four iconic towers during an earthquake.

After an aggressive fundraising campaign, the Benedictine Hall Centennial Restoration Project began Monday with a blessing ceremony.???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Abbot Lawrence Stasyszen, from St. Gregory’s Abbey, said, “We are about to begin a good work. Let us pray for God’s help through this celebration that God will bring this construction to successful completion, and that His protection will keep those who work on it safe from injury.”

The first phase of the project will take eight to ten months to complete and will include the restoration of the hall’s turrets and the marble steps to the main entrance.

St. Gregory’s University President Greg Main said 3,400 people contributed $2.34 million to help restore the building.

The second phase of the project will put period-correct windows and front doors on the building, add a new roof and construct a new entrance.

Those plans are expected to cost an additional $2.7 million.