Repurposing monastic buildings for administrative space
When an institution runs out of space, we understand the instinct to build new. New buildings are shiny and attract attention. And sometimes, they're necessary.
But when it came time to address our pressing need for additional administrative space, we decided to take a different approach. A sustainable approach. An approach that's very much in keeping with our Benedictine heritage. The sisters with whom we share space, faith and heritage have agreed to make three monastic buildings available for the college to purchase.
The buildings include:
- Caedmon, which was built in 1911 and has already seen its share of transition — it was once picked up and moved to a new location and has served many functions over the last 100+ years. The two-story building includes more than 6,000 square feet and was originally built as a horse barn. More recently, it has served as a residence.
- St. Wendelin, which was built in 1955 as the monastery's original butcher shop. The 4,500-square foot building has since provided both office and residential space.
- The Artisan Studio, which is a sprawling, 12,000-square foot space built in 1962. It was originally built as a carpenter shop and is in current use as an artisan studio for the sisters as well as lay artisans.
These buildings are being renamed Schoenecker Commons.
A sustainable move
Historically, the college has been able to renovate space for 60-75 percent of the cost of building new. These renovations will be built to a LEED standard, and since the buildings are already on our power grid, we won't be expanding our carbon footprint for additional utility structures. These renovations will achieve:
- Creation of a new admissions welcome center that will serve as the "front door" of campus for the nearly 4,000 potential future Bennies and Johnnies who visit us each year
- Streamlined, dedicated administrative space that will allow our teams to collaborate, communicate and work more efficiently
- Live our Benedictine commitment to sustainability as we focus on renovations instead of building new
Drone video of Schoenecker Commons. Video Credit: Paul Beniek