It’s been nearly six months since the tragic incident at Visitation Hall. On March 16 of last school year, the iconic off-campus building was allegedly struck by lightning during a thunderstorm, resulting in a fire that consumed much of the upper structure.
Although none of the resident students were harmed, the disaster nevertheless dealt a blow to campus morale.
Today, the resident portion of the Viz remains a burnt-out hulk, a solemn reminder of the events of last semester. Rain, wind, and other elements have resulted in the general wear and tear of the already-dilapidated structure. Because of this, campus officials are still uncertain how to proceed with repairs.
In order to get the building back into functional commission, considerable time will need to be invested. Loras officials are currently awaiting word from insurance agencies regarding the negotiation of a settlement for the necessary funding required. However, when coupled with the renovations to the fourth and fifth floors of Keane Hall as well as planned renovations in Graber, the issue of gaining sufficient finances to put the Viz back in order may not be easily solved.
“It may be a while,” says John McDermott, Assistant Vice President of campus Physical Resources. “But when the money comes, we’ll be ready to go.”
Having stood for well over a century, the fate of the former-convent-building-turned-dormitory remains uncertain.
“It would be fantastic if the Viz would be restored because then it will be able to serve its purpose and it will benefit all those who live there and use the building regularly,” junior Adrienne Pearson said. “It’s an important part of campus, especially for the music department.”