Lewis Contractors has completed the Phase II renovations to a portion of the third and fourth floors of the iconic St. Mary’s Seminary and University, bringing another series of newly renovated living spaces to active use. Founded in 1791, St. Mary’s Seminary is the first Catholic Seminary in the United States, from which more priests have been ordained for service than any other seminary in the country. This iconic Seminary, situated on its “new campus” at Northern Parkway and Roland Avenue, was constructed in 1928 on a verdant, 60-acre campus and seminarians and faculty resided in rooms nearly contemporary to the original construction.
Third generation builder Tyler Tate, P.E., president of Lewis, and his team collaborated with third generation architect David Gaudreau, AIA, principal of Ewing Cole Architects, and his team in the legacy changes to 38 residential suites within the fully occupied and operational university. The suites, originally designed by David’s grandfather, Lucien E.D. Gaudreau, had seen little change until this major renovation project began.
From the original small rooms fitted with a corner sink and multi-person restrooms and shower rooms, through a four-month transformation, Lewis has created new seminarian suites, which now include a bedroom, private bathroom and sitting area. All are fully air conditioned for the first time in the university’s history. Faculty members who also live on-site now have a bedroom, private bathroom, sitting room and office as their residence, along with new air conditioning and heating systems. As a part of this phase of work, Lewis also created eight faculty storage rooms within the renovated area. All of the hallways in this portion of the building have received new doors, with old doors removed and infilled, new ceilings, newly refurbished painted walls, new ceilings and energy efficient lighting—a marked change from what existed before work began.
Upgrades to the existing fire protection, water and waste services have been completed incrementally as each phase of the project is accepted, adding challenges to the work far different from many other construction projects. Lewis has also removed an existing fire escape, abated its lead paint by constructing an onsite sand blasting enclosure, and then refurbished and reinstalled this essential means of escaping the building in emergency conditions, all without interrupting daily activities to busy campus life.
The project stands as an excellent example of the close collaboration between Builder and Architect during the design phase, where the Lewis team took a leadership role in delivering enhanced preconstruction services.
Phase III work is underway to complete the residence transformation with an anticipated completion date of early summer 2021.
The Lewis and Ewing-Cole teams now turn their attention to ongoing renovation work throughout the balance of the campus, which, upon completion in summer 2021, will provide newly renovated residences for 12 faculty and up to 106 seminarians from the U.S. and throughout the world.