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Construction on St. Mary’s Housing underway

Construction and renovation on the future St. Mary’s Housing – formerly Owens Hall – at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, began in late July and is expected to conclude in November 2021.

Owens Hall, which will soon be St. Mary’s Housing, is currently undergoing renovations.

The Sisters of Providence are partnering on the project with Flaherty and Collins Properties, based in Indianapolis.

In collaboration with the sisters, Flaherty and Collins applied for tax credits from the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) and received $2 million in funding for the project in 2018, including more than $1 million in rental housing tax credits, $400,000 from a U.S. Housing and Urban Development fund, and $500,000 in development funds from the IHCDA.

The renovation of the building will create 64 affordable housing units for seniors, 33 of which will be one-bedroom units to go along with 31 two-bedroom units. Twenty percent of the units will also serve people with intellectual or developmental disabilities. In addition, there will be four market rate apartments available.

“There will be 68 units, 64 of which will be income-based, so people will have to qualify to live there,” said Julie Collier, Flaherty and Collins Vice President of Development. “The other four units will be available to anyone who wants to live there.”

Collier added the renovation of the building will be certified as “historic,” stating that the facility’s charm will remain intact.

“All the original historic features will remain in place while all systems – electrical, HVAC, plumbing and more – will be upgraded or updated,” she said. “The beautiful terrazzo floors will remain as well as all of the original windows. The historic Nave of the former chapel will remain as is with all of its beautiful wood paneling and historic flooring – these items will be cleaned and polished.”

An inside look at the renovations taking place inside Owens Hall, which will soon be St. Mary’s Housing.

Sister Dawn Tomaszewski, general superior for the Congregation, said the Sisters of Providence are “delighted with the renovation activity currently going on in Owens Hall, and, more importantly, with the opportunity to share this beautiful campus of ours with future residents.

“We look forward to welcoming seniors who quality for affordable housing to a place of natural beauty that offers meaningful amenities and access to the activities of the Sisters of Providence, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College and Providence Health Care,” Sister Dawn continued.

In 2014, the Congregation received funds through the National Religious Retirement Office (NRRO), located in Washington, D.C., to conduct a study of their buildings and land holdings at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods.

Working with Hoffman Planning, Design and Construction, based in Wisconsin, the findings of the study included a recommendation that the sisters transition out of Owens Hall, which had been used as a residence hall for sisters and the primary location of administrative offices. The analysis provided by Hoffman concluded that the continued care and upkeep of Owens Hall would be cost prohibitive for the Congregation.

Built in 1959, Owens Hall was originally used as the novitiate for new members of the Congregation.

“Flaherty and Collins of Indianapolis has been a wonderful developer with whom to partner to bring this project to life,” Sister Dawn said. “They are dedicated to retaining the historic nature of the building while providing new living space that will be spacious and bright. It is such a win-win situation for us and for those who will come to call it home.”

Collier said units will be available to those interested around the time of the opening.

About the Sisters of Providence

The Sisters of Providence, a congregation of 214 women religious, with 300 Providence Associates, collaborate with others to create a more just and hope-filled world through prayer, education, service and advocacy. The Sisters of Providence have their motherhouse at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, located just northwest of downtown Terre Haute, Ind., which is now listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Saint Mother Theodore Guerin founded the Sisters of Providence at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods in 1840. Today, Sisters of Providence minister in 13 states, the District of Columbia and Asia, through works of love, mercy and justice. More information about the Sisters of Providence and their ministries can be found at SistersofProvidence.org.

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Jason Moon

Jason Moon serves as media relations manager for the Sisters of Providence. Previously, he spent more than 16 years in the newspaper industry.

Media contact

For inquiries or information, contact Jason Moon at jmoon@spsmw.org or 812-535-2810.

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