*TREASURED PIECES EXPERTS JUMP INTO ACTION AFTER A
MILWAUKEE BUS COLLIDES WITH
JOHNSTON HALL. EACH STEP
SPECIAL HISTORY AND BEAUTY OF
BY DAN SIMMONS
20 / W I N TE R 2 01 9
It was late Friday afternoon, May 15, 2018. Spring semester finals had just finished. Lora Strigens was at a meeting off campus when her phone rang. “You might want to get back to campus,” a co-worker said. “A bus just hit Johnston Hall.” Strigens serves as vice president for planning and facilities management at Marquette, and, in that role, carefully charts a course for the buildings and structures that add up to a small city. “A lot of things that happen are things that we try to predict and plan for,” she says, then grins and admits they also have to be ready to deal with things they haven’t planned for. Put in that category a Route 12 Milwaukee County Transit System bus losing control while turning from North 12th Street onto West Wisconsin Avenue, jumping the curb and crashing into the west entryway of Johnston Hall, one of the oldest original buildings on campus, built in 1906 and listed on the National Historical Register since 1986 and State Historical Register since 1989. “It took off on me,” the bus driver said, according to media reports. His only thought as the nightmare scene unfolded: “I’m going to die.” He likely was not alone in that fear. It’s an unusually busy intersection for both cars and pedestrians, and the bus rammed into a front entrance of Johnston Hall, a usually busy spot for students in the Diederich College of Communication.
“IT WAS LIKE PUTTING TOGETHER A PUZZLE,” LORA STRIGENS SAYS OF THE TASK OF RECONSTRUCTION.
MA R Q UET T E MA G A Z INE / 21