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Institute's New Home Recognized
ST. LOUIS, MO- November 13, 2006--Paric Corp., the firm that oversaw
the gut renovation of the building that today houses Aquinas Institute,
won the prestigious Keystone Award on Thursday from Associated General
Contractors of St. Louis. One judge described the renovation as the
“most creative reuse” in the city this year.
Aquinas Institute moved into this century-old former factory in January.
The building had been vacant for two years and neglected for years
before that. Water and fire had left the space damaged and filthy,
but leaders of Aquinas Institute saw its potential, and Paric Corp.
had the resolve to get the job done.
“Paric Corp. did more than complete the job,” said Fr.
Charles Bouchard, O.P., president of Aquinas Institute. “They
worked closely with architect Alan Nehring, and with us, to transform
this beat up factory into a building that captures beautifully the
personality of academic and religious community who occupy it.”
In the center of the building, where a blackened concrete floor faced
cracked windows and stained ductwork, builders erected a chapel, a
brilliantly lit and brightly colored space where graduate students
and priesthood candidates gather weekdays for prayer. Along the building’s
southern wall, where rain had worn away bricks that encased 15-foot
windows, builders restored the exterior and created a space that houses
thousands of theology books and invites students to linger as they
“Paric Corporation, and everyone involved in this renovation,
gave Aquinas Institute a space that brings together the old and the
new much as the school itself takes the time-tested tradition of the
Catholic Church and uses it to respond to issues important today,”
Bouchard said. “We’re delighted with the space, and thrilled
that Paric has been recognized for it.”
Associated General Contractors presented the award at the Millenium
Hotel in St. Louis. The awards serve to honor the most outstanding
and innovative construction projects in the city each year. The Aquinas
Institute project won “Project of the Year” for building
construction less than $5 million. Awards were presented in eight
Aquinas Institute of Theology is a seminary and Roman Catholic graduate
school where laypeople study alongside candidates for the priesthood.
The school also offers several alternative-format programs in which
students study online and occasionally spend weekends on campus in
the time of St Dominic, more than 800 years ago, Dominicans have been
living and sharing
the message of the Gospel. Today thousands of sisters, nuns, priests,
and laity serve in more than 100 countries around the globe