A Long Way to Go: An Update on the Visitation Fire

DUBUQUE – Who can forget the eerie images of the Visitation Hall at Loras College burning? Who could fail to remember that it happened on a frigid March 16, with students huddled under blankets while the blaze destroyed their dorms? old-vis-fire-image

Nearly six months after the fire, the Visitation Hall is still standing on Alta Vista Street today. Some of the roof has caved in, but you can still see the charred remains of the cupola on top. cupola-image

Because there was no damage in the South side of the building, music and art classes are still held there, and students have the option of living in the few rooms that still exist. The North building, however, is unoccupied because of fire damage, and it is assumed that it is not safe to go in there.

Many students have been asking what is going to become of the Visitation Hall, now that it has been burned and wrecked on the north half. Loras College administrators are asking students to be patient with the rebuilding process.

They are not sure what they are going to do with the hall. There are many possibilities for its future, and the process has been so slow that even the individual administrators interviewed were becoming impatient.

John McDermott, Assistant Vice President of Physical Resources at Loras, is involved with the process of deciding what to do with the “Vis.” He said, “Well, we’re still analyzing the Visitation after the fire. We’re going through some special analysis, we’re going through the insurance carrier, trying to find what the value of the building is, what are the options that we have available to us….”

In order to set minds at ease, the college administration said they will keep the student body informed of any new changes.

You may see the entire story on the LCTV YouTube page at [tube] [tube].

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Levi Bernhard is currently a senior student at Loras College. He originally hails from St. Benedict, a small town near Algona, Iowa. Levi is a reporter and crew member for LCTV News, and helps contribute stories to productions. A couple years ago, he worked as an intern at Kossuth Regional Health Center, recording and editing videos. This past January, he went on a travel January Term course to Greece, where he helped create a couple of short documentaries about the country. He enjoys being in media studies because he likes the concepts of telling stories to wide audiences, and working with a variety of technology. He is also in media studies because he has a dream of becoming a filmmaker.

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