Mount de Chantal Could Have Been Saved

Editor, News-Register:

There have been several insightful letters here regarding the wanton destruction of one of Wheeling’s most historic and beautiful buildings. That the structure also represented the memories of generations of faithful servants of God and joyful students surely compounds the tragedy that is the loss of Mount de Chantal.

I only hope that whenever anyone ever again thinks of Wheeling Hospital, and its current leadership, or the current leadership of the Roman Catholic Diocese of West Virginia they will think shame, and shame again for their apparent indifference, their disingenuous representation of facts, and their complete unwillingness to show any transparency for what really transpired before the wrecking ball came. Those who remember the circumstances surrounding the initial closure of the school (from which spring these past weeks’ events), remember that there were multiple plans for saving the school and its buildings that were simply ignored. The building was not nearly in as bad a shape as has been represented, especially in 2008, nor even recently as others have made clear. Significant monies would have been needed but not unimaginable monies. More importantly, the actual figures needed to save the Mount were never shared nor allowed to be evaluated by any reputable outside analyst. Had such a good faith effort been made then some comparable effort might have been made by alumnae and others to have saved the site. The ravaging of this deeply historic and gloriously beautiful building was never necessary. It is my hope the community will long remember what happened to the Mount and who was responsible.

Marc Harshman