Seminary expansion, renovation comes to fruition


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Kenrick-Glennon Seminary is back in operation at full force.

Earlier this month, the seminary hosted approximately 900 people at the first of two open houses, which showcased the fruits of the recent renovation and expansion. Another open house will be held from 1-4 p.m. Saturday, March 16. The seminary is located at 5200 Glennon Drive in Shrewsbury.

The "Faith for the Future" campaign, launched in 2009, provided the funding for the updates and increased an endowment for future needs. More than 36,000 people from 193 parishes pledged more than $60 million in support for the campaign -- $10 million over the original goal.

Much of the renovation project has focused on replacing an old and failing infrastructure at the 82-year-old seminary, including leaking plumbing, overextended and outdated electrical systems and inefficient heating systems. Other additions include new life-safety fire-protection systems, air conditioning throughout the entire building and more accessibility throughout the building.

There are 104 seminarians from 16 different dioceses and religious communities currently in formation. The seminary can now accommodate up to 141 seminarians, a 30 percent increase over current enrollment.

The following are some of the highlights of the renovation work:

Rooftop terrace

Inspired by the rooftop terrace at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, the new construction serves as the roof of the eastern expansion and faculty wing. The terrace features indoor and outdoor gathering spaces. The indoor area features a full-service kitchen. The bell in the nearby tower also was restored during the renovations and should continue to function through the next century.

Eastern expansion (faculty wing)

The new construction houses offices for distinguished faculty members. There are two levels of office and meeting space. The relocation of some office space also allowed the seminary to convert former offices into additional residential rooms.

Charles L. Souvay, CM, Memorial Library

This was one of the areas where the most extensive work took place during renovations. The library, which features a collection of more than 80,000 works, is named after Father Souvay, a well-known academic in the early 1900s and a former seminary rector and superior general of the Vincentians. It was expanded into an underused basement gym and includes a new mezzanine level and new alcoves and meeting spaces for private and group study. Other enhancements include new information technology systems and a new computer lab that is accessible from within the library as well as an external corridor. The art in the library includes reprints of a Doctors of the Church icon series, created by local Catholic artist Ann Torrini.

Residential rooms

Each seminarian has a single room with basic furniture, including an extra-long bed, dresser, desk, chair, closet and sink. Each theology student shares a restroom with one other seminarian. College seminarians have dormitory-style rooms with restrooms and showers down the hall.

Rathskeller (student recreation center)

The building, which once served as a power plant for the seminary, was retrofitted and includes a workout facility, gaming tables, TV, kitchen area and lounges for both theology and college seminarians. There also are outdoor tennis and basketball courts, soccer and baseball fields, and indoor basketball and racquetball courts in the main seminary building.

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