Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Education

Saint Leo University buys Benedictine Sisters' property

ST. LEO — Saint Leo University announced a deal Wednesday to buy the Holy Name Monastery and five other buildings from the Benedictine Sisters of Florida. The buildings and the land, totaling 37 acres, sold for $3.9 million.

The 16 sisters who inhabit the three-story monastery will move to a new facility that will be built across the street. That facility is scheduled to open in February 2014.

The deal was announced Wednesday morning at a ceremonial signing by Saint Leo University president Arthur Kirk and Sister Roberta Bailey, prioress for the Benedictine Sisters of Florida.

"The university's plans are unspecific at this point, but we intend to maintain the integrity and unity of the property," Kirk said. "The monastery has good bones with the capacity for renovation for multiple purposes."

While the university hasn't announced specific plans for the land, the growth of the campus comes as no surprise. Enrollment is booming, and Saint Leo has added several other facilities in the past couple of years, including two new residence halls, expanded sports facilities and a 50,000-square-foot building housing the School of Business.

Over the next few months, the university will begin crafting a master plan for the 11-acre monastery, along with the other pieces of land south of State Road 52.

In the meantime, the sisters will remain in their quarters as renters (with a $1 annual lease) until they move into their new facility, which they will own and maintain. Still, the plan to uproot them from the 40-year-old monastery wasn't an easy sell.

"At the beginning of negotiations last spring it was a challenge to gain approval from our sisters," said Sister Bailey. "Today everyone is on board, and some are more excited than others about a new residence."

Zielinski Companies, a real estate planning and management consultant to nonprofits, provided guidance on the deal between the university and the Benedictine Sisters.

"We've always operated in the black," Sister Bailey said. "We received full approval from our Federation of Saint Scholastica and from our 23 mother house councils and president."

The Benedictine Sisters have budgeted $2.7 for construction of their new 30,000-square-foot home, while their director of mission advancement, Faith Pridmore, expects to launch a special gifts campaign in January to furnish the interior.

Architectural firm Klar and Klar of Clearwater will design the project with "a swift schedule," according to partner Roberta Klar.

"We held a 'charette,' a brainstorming session with the sisters on Labor Day," Klar said. "On Thursday we'll present some preliminary ideas to incorporate suggestions of open sight lines, respect of land, and communion with music and nature."

"We expect the facility to be private with individual beds and baths," Sister Bailey said. "But we won't be isolated. We expect to continue our ministry work on campus and in the community."

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction: As part of the sale of the Holy Name Monastery to Saint Leo University, the Benedictine Sisters will pay $1 annual rent to remain in their current quarters until moving into their new facility, which the sisters will own and maintain. The original version of this article was incorrect on the rental and ownership arrangements.

Comments
Sarasota student under fire over his racist ‘promposal’

Sarasota student under fire over his racist ‘promposal’

The Sarasota County School District has begun to address the community after a Riverview High School student’s racist prom proposal over the weekend went viral, including reaching out to the Sarasota chapter of the NAACP.High school senior Noah Crowl...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Battle continues over west Pasco school rezoning

Jim Stanley does not give up without a fight.The west Pasco County parent who brought down the school district’s 2017 attendance zone revisions, leading the administration to change its procedures along the way, has filed a new challenge to the syst...
Published: 04/24/18
Crews Lake eighth-grader already capable musician

Crews Lake eighth-grader already capable musician

SPRING HILL — Rose Dodd, 2 months old, couldn’t yet grasp a rattle, but there she was years ago at hand-bell choir practice at Keystone United Methodist Church in Odessa.Rose, 14, a Crews Lakes Middle School eighth-grader, is back at hand-bell practi...
Published: 04/24/18
Hillsborough: No way we can afford teacher raises this year

Hillsborough: No way we can afford teacher raises this year

TAMPA — The Hillsborough County School District is in bad financial shape and its reputation for sound management is perhaps undeserved, the district’s own fiscal team testified Monday in a hearing concerning teacher salaries.The district "made finan...
Published: 04/23/18

School news for April 27

School Calendar• May 17-20: High school graduations• May 25: Last day of school for studentsBriefs• School Safety Town Hall Meetings will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. May 2 at River Ridge Middle/High, 11646 Town Center Road, New Port Richey and 6 to 8 p....
Published: 04/23/18
A Florida school shooting suspect charged with terrorism says ‘sorry’ to injured student

A Florida school shooting suspect charged with terrorism says ‘sorry’ to injured student

The young man in a white jail jumpsuit, handcuffed and shackled, looked past the throng of reporters pointing microphones toward his face, barely opening his mouth as he answered questions."I shot through the door," he said, looking at a female repor...
Published: 04/21/18
After months, no action on Hillsborough’s substitute teacher problem

After months, no action on Hillsborough’s substitute teacher problem

TAMPA — Confronted in late 2017 with reports of misconduct by substitute teachers hired through a contractor, Hillsborough County school superintendent Jeff Eakins said he would ask tough questions and demand answers. He had his lawyer, Jeff Gibson, ...
Published: 04/21/18
Tampa Bay students voice opinions on gun laws during school walkouts

Tampa Bay students voice opinions on gun laws during school walkouts

Nicole Leary and Taylor Redington stood outside St. Petersburg High School on Friday morning with parents and protesters who had gathered with bullhorns and signs. In a few minutes they would lead about 70 students on a walk to City Hall, joining oth...
Published: 04/20/18
Official: Shotgun in guitar case was used in school shooting

Official: Shotgun in guitar case was used in school shooting

FORT LAUDERDALE — A gunman who carried a shotgun in a guitar case opened fire Friday in a Florida high school, wounding one student before he was arrested on a day planned for a national classroom walkout to protest gun violence, authorities said. It...
Published: 04/20/18
Eakins: New ‘achievement zone’ would lift struggling schools

Eakins: New ‘achievement zone’ would lift struggling schools

TAMPA — Hillsborough County school superintendent Jeff Eakins is preparing to reorganize his cabinet — for the third time since 2015 — in an effort to coordinate programs at the district’s highest-needs schools.In an interview this week, Eakins descr...
Published: 04/20/18