SLU’s Dan Seaman helps remove debris from the fallen steeple Monday morning. Photo: Tara Freeman/SLU
Gunnison Memorial Chapel’s steeple came tumbling down around 5 am this windy morning. St. Lawrence University chief facilities officer Dan Seaman says security personnel were on site through last night. He said the steeple was swaying significantly in the wind overnight. The steeple crashed very close to the chapel building, not even blocking the sidewalk, and within the perimenter of the security fence. No one was injured.
Seaman says the steeple was further destabilized overnight because the wooden framework continued to smoulder. SLU personnel were positioned on the roof of adjacent Richardson Hall to catch and put out burning embers that were floating over from the steeple.
Burnt copper sheets continued to fall this morning. Seaman says engineers will wait for the winds to die down, then they’ll remove the remaining steeple debris with a crane, and then put a temporary roof on the building at the top of the brick tower.