ST. CLOUD (WJON News) -- A former convent in St. Cloud is going to be demolished.

The Church of St. Anthony has begun the process of taking down the old convent along 25th Avenue North.

The parish built it in 1956 at a cost of $150,000. It could accommodate up to 30 nuns. However, it was only used as a convent for about 30 years.

It was used for nearly the same amount of time as the New Beginnings building from 1984 until 2014. The non-profit New Beginnings used the building to help pregnant single women with over 700 women served during that time.

Church of St. Anthony photo by's Jim Maurice
Church of St. Anthony photo by's Jim Maurice

Church Trustee Jim Schleper says the building has been vacant for the past several years.

For about the last seven or eight years it has been empty and the condition of the building warrants that it would be too costly to renovate it into some other use.

Schleper says for now the property will become green space.

It will become part of a parking bank so that if additional parking is needed in the future it could be turned into a parking lot.

Back in 2016, the St. Cloud City Council approved a plan to use the building as housing for temporary workers from other countries at Gold N' Plump in Cold Spring.  However, that plan was eventually scrapped by the company.

Schleper says the Church of St. Anthony plans to eventually sell the parking lot property across 25th Avenue and then they'll convert the convent lot into parking.

The three-story building includes a lower-level kitchen and a common area where the nuns could gather. Their rooms - which were 8 feet by 10 feet in size - were on the second and third floors. There was also another gathering space on the top floor.

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When it was used as a convent most parishioners were never allowed inside the building.

Church of St. Anthony photo by's Jim Maurice
Church of St. Anthony photo by's Jim Maurice

The nuns taught and ran the catholic school at the church, which during its heyday had up to 850 kids attending with grade levels from the First through the Eighth Grade.

The demolition is scheduled to begin in early April and take about a month.

The Church of St. Anthony parish held its first mass in December of 1920.



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