Saint John Vianney
Saint John Vianney Seminary is planning to renovate and expand its five-story home on the University of Saint Thomas campus with a five-story addition atop a one-story chapel on the north side of the building.

Saint John Vianney Seminary is planning to renovate and expand its five-story building on the University of Saint Thomas campus. The project, which would add about 22,000 square feet to the building on Selby Avenue, has been in the works for about 18 months. The goal is to submit it for city site plan review in April. Construction would begin in the spring of 2022 with completion in the spring of 2023.

Neighbors got their first look at the project on March 9 at a meeting of the West Summit Neighborhood Advisory Committee (WSNAC). The intent is to renovate the existing building and turn a one-story chapel into a five-story addition with a small roof deck.

A minor seminary, Saint John Vianney is located at the southeast corner of Selby Avenue and Finn Street. It opened in 1982, and is now one of the largest undergraduate seminaries in the country. It enrolls between 100 and 115 students from about 20 difference dioceses. Most are between the ages of 18 and 24, and about 35 percent of them progress to a major seminary and become ordained priests.

The seminary building includes offices, classrooms and living space for students and seven priests. The renovation would include a redesigned entrance on the Selby side of the building to make it more visible and accessible. The building’s basement would be extensively renovated with classroom and music performance spaces, an exercise room, recreation room, workshop and showers.

The building expansion and added landscaping would require the removal of some off-street parking. That and the need to reconfigure the parking lot would reduce the lot from 71 to 53 spaces.

The seminary chapel would be expanded with a larger sanctuary, sacristy and choir loft. The five-story addition would also include a new lobby and reception area, offices, a conference room, additional housing for priests and the rector, another smaller chapel and guest rooms.

The building expansion and added landscaping would require the removal of some off-street parking. That and the need to reconfigure the parking lot would reduce the lot from 71 to 53 spaces.

 

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The cost of the expansion project has not been announced. It appears to meet the height and setback limits of the University of Saint Thomas’ conditional use permit.

— Jane McClure

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