Renovation begins on SHST lobby

A designer's rendering of what the updated SHST lobby will look like.
A designer’s rendering of what the updated SHST lobby will look like.

Main entrance moves for summer

On Monday, May 12, the main entrance to Sacred Heart Monastery/School of Theology is moving next to the Leo Dehon Library (seminary library), near the Sacred Heart Shrine.

The move is in anticipation of the summer-long remodeling and renovation of the main lobby. Asbestos abatement begins on May 12 and is expected to take approximately two weeks. Demolition and construction work is scheduled to start soon after.

The newly designed reception area
The newly designed reception area

Much of the work centers on needed infrastructure improvements including the asbestos removal noted above, a new sprinkler and alarm system, improved air handling systems (HVAC), installation of energy-efficient windows, renovation of restrooms to improve handicapped accessibility, and some minor reconfiguration of interior walls for more efficient use of space.

The renovation and updating is also an opportunity to give the lobby a brighter, cosmetic upgrade as well.

A new ceiling profile will incorporate softer, indirect lighting. Dark paneling will be replaced with a lighter finish. A large, working masonry fireplace will be added to one of the outer walls. Carpet and lobby furniture will also be replaced, and the reception area will be updated and moved to a more user-friendly location.

“This upgrade will allow us to outwardly reflect the vitality of our ministry,” said Msgr. Ross Shecterle, SHST’s president-rector, adding that “we must be good stewards of the facility and make necessary changes for the long-term health of the building,”

The lobby remodel is the first part of an evolving multi-phase plan for renovation and upgrades to the entire seminary campus. The Province Development Office, in collaboration with SHST, is fund raising for the project.

Looking toward the front entrance
Looking toward the front entrance

“SHST is a vibrant institution with excellent programs serving seminarians, priests, sisters and other students from around the world,” said Fr. Stephen Huffstetter, SCJ, provincial superior. “Our mission requires that we provide an up-to-date educational environment commensurate with the vitality of our programs.”

Sacred Heart School of Theology is North America’s largest seminary specializing in the formation of seminarians over 30; dozens of dioceses and religious communities send their students to Sacred Heart. Besides seminary instruction, SHST also hosts an ESL program (English as a Second Language) that focuses on use of English in ministry, as well as a Master of Arts program. The seminary, an apostolate of the Priests of the Sacred Heart, is located in southwest Milwaukee County.