UNO’s Henningson Memorial Campanile Faces Seismic Changes

Photo: Studies from the US Geologic Service will result in changes which will  drastically change the University of Nebraska-Omaha landscape. This illustration, released by the University, shows an alternative use for the shortened structure.

As DU’s men’s soccer team travels to Omaha next weekend to battle the Mavs  for the regular season Summit League title, it might be wise to keep an eye out for falling debris.

A newly released study calls for a major change to the UNO campus – namely, the iconic Henningson Memorial Campanile. Since its completion in 1989, the Henningson Memorial Campanile, a large tower, on the University of Nebraska Omaha (UNO) campus has been featured prominently in everything from commencement programs to UNO’s centennial celebration. In Omaha, the campanile, also known as the “bell tower,” is a recognized area landmark. 

Unfortunately, a newly discovered fault line runs through the southeastern part of the state and through the urban campus. Potential quakes, while not deadly, are likely to register 3.0 – 4.5 according to Suzette Kimball, acting director of the USGS. The Henningson Campanile was never designed to withstand earthquakes so the structure, as a cautionary measure, must be lowered.

Photo: Map shows the epicenter of a newly discovered fault. A USGS survey shows the fault running directly underneath the Henningson Campanile.

Other buildings on campus are deemed safe by engineering studies conducted by the University to include administration buildings, classrooms, and the Baxter Arena. However, the iconic Henninson Campanile is sure to face the wrecking ball. According to the  Omaha World-Herald, administrators are looking at alternative uses for a ‘shortened’ structure. Fast food service has been the favored option explored by the University administration. However, auto parts and hunting & fishing supply are seen as viable options as well.

Demolition could begin as soon as spring, 2017.