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SAINT MEINRAD – The newly renovated spaces in St. Bede Hall and Newman Hall, on the campus of Saint Meinrad Archabbey were blessed by Archabbot Justin DuVall OSB, in a special ceremony Oct. 6.
Following Mass in the Archabbey Church, monks, students, faculty, co-workers, the boards of Overseers and Trustees, benefactors and guests proceeded to the buildings for the dedication.
After the outside of the buildings were blessed, small groups moved inside to bless the individual rooms and hang crucifixes. Following a luncheon, guests toured the buildings to get a close-up look at the new spaces.
“Countless people have contrib-uted to making the restoration and renovation of these buildings a reality through the investment of their material and spiritual means,” Archabbot Justin said at the blessing. “Generous friends contributed to the funding, creative minds considered possibilities, and skilled hands brought it into a reality – all while kind souls everywhere prayed for the safe and successful completion of the project.”
The buildings’ roofs were replaced, and new flashing, gutters and downspouts were installed. Energy-efficient windows and a new heating and cooling system are in place. All rooms have individual controls for heating and cooling.
The buildings are used for Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology, which offers initial and continuing education for priests, permanent deacons and lay ministers.
St. Bede Hall
Renovations to this 60-year-old building improved the infrastructure, added technological capabilities, upgraded elevator access to five floors, and reworked the space for flexibility and better use.
Classrooms and conference rooms are equipped with built-in technology including videotaping, projection, Internet access and television reception.
On the first floor, work is under way to update the 500-seat St. Bede Theater as the final phase of the project. The theater should be ready for use in spring 2013. The addition of air conditioning to the building will allow the theater to be used year-round for events.
The first floor also houses the Office of Group Accommodations. Visiting groups will make this their first stop for registering and picking up room keys.
The second floor of St. Bede Hall features a small chapel that seats 50-60 people; the chapel can be used by groups or as a practice chapel for students.
Office space for the Institute for Priests and Presbyterates is also located on this floor.
The St. John Vianney Center, where the IPP will host life-skills training, is the centerpiece of the third floor.
The center includes a fully equipped teaching kitchen, dining area and living room.
Across the hall are two rooms, large classrooms conference rooms. Fifteen guest rooms and a small lounge are also located on the third floor.
Another 22 guest rooms are on the fourth floor, along with a lounge and vending area.
All guest rooms include private baths and wireless Internet access.
The fifth floor, now accessible by elevator, houses a large conference room that can be divided into two smaller rooms.
Newman Hall renovations represent the final phase of the projects that resulted from “The Call of Saint Meinrad” campaign that concluded in 2006.
Renovations to Newman Hall began in 2010 and encompassed all five floors of the building.
Some of the major changes include:
• A wellness center for fitness equipment and exercise classes was created on the ground floor, along with showers, changing rooms, lockers and a classroom.
• The Scholar Shop bookstore relocated to the first floor.
• The east-west wing of the second floor creates space for three new classrooms that can handle 40 to 50 students each.
• The information technology department and photography-video studio moved from the third floor to the second.
• The south end of the north-south wing of the second floor now contains a conference room.
• The Mader Center, which offers reading and writing assistance and assists students who speak English as a second language, moved to the third floor and in-cludes space for a larger classroom, where students can learn at computers or around small tables.
• A third practice chapel and public restrooms are now located in the north-south wing of the third floor.
• A counseling center on the third floor has been updated with soundproofing, new heating and air conditioning, lighting, technology and windows.
• The north-south wing of the fourth floor was renovated to include four apartments for faculty, public restrooms and a laundry area.
• The Spiritual Formation Department relocated to the fourth floor, where the Institute for Priests and Presbyterates was located before moving to St. Bede Hall.