ST. VINCENT’S ACADEMY BEGINS MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR HISTORIC RENOVATION PROJECT

Renovation of the Sisters of Mercy Convent (1845) will greatly expand Academy’s physical and educational service capacity

SAVANNAH, GA. – St. Vincent’s Academy (SVA) will begin a multi-million dollar renovation project of its Sisters of Mercy Convent, one of Savannah’s most historic and notable structures.

The $3 million renovation project, scheduled to last approximately 13-months, will greatly improve the school’s square foot capacity, allowing for additional administrative and academic utilization, as well as small group conference space for students, parents and teachers. Aside from interior structural renovations, construction will also provide the necessary technical advancements and digital infrastructure warranted in today’s modern academic settings.

Established in 1845 by the Sisters of Mercy, St. Vincent’s Academy is one of the leading secondary educational institutions in the Southeast. The 1845 structure was home to generations of Sisters who served both the adjoining school and throughout the community. Through the years, parts of the convent were adapted to accommodate the growing need for academic classrooms and enhanced educational spaces. The last of the resident Sisters moved from the building in 2017, leaving additional space available, yet for the most part, unusable.

“St. Vincent’s Academy and the Sisters of Mercy have a nearly two centuries-old commitment to Savannah and the surrounding regions. This major renovation to our campus will make that commitment even stronger,” according to SVA President Mary Anne Hogan. “We are thrilled that this project has come to fruition as it will add a much wider dimension, improved educational capacities and overall enhanced experience for our young women at St. Vincent’s.”

The structure, located on the corner of Abercorn and Liberty Streets in Savannah’s Historic District, was designed by noted architect Charles B. Cluskey. A devotee to the Greek Revival design style, Cluskey is regarded by many architectural historians as one of the finest in the nation during that period. His portfolio includes such notable Savannah structures as the Champion-McAlpin-Fowles House (1844) on Orleans Square, the Philbrick-Eastman House (1844) on Chippewa Square, the Eliza Jewett House (1842) and the Sorrel-Weed House (1853) both on Madison Square. Further, Cluskey’s impact was highly regarded throughout the state including his designs of the Hermitage Plantation, the Medical College of Georgia’s first building in Augusta, a chapel at the University of Georgia, the Georgia Female College in Macon, and perhaps his most-highly regarded masterpiece, the Governor’s mansion in Milledgeville.

“We were further blessed that our Board of Trustees were strongly committed to this project and were diligent in selecting the right partners who they felt would respect and honor the living legacies that this institution and our campus represent, as well as protecting the safety of our students and faculty.” Hogan says. “To that end, we are excited to have the architectural experience of Lominack, Kolman and Smith, as well as the construction team at The Pinyan Company as our partners on this project.”

According to Jerry Lominack, a principal partner at the architectural firm of Lominack, Kolman and Smith, “We are both honored and excited to work with St. Vincent’s Academy and general contractors The Pinyan Company on this very special project.”

“We have been involved with educational / historic renovations projects for more than 30 years and have successfully completed more than 30 similar projects in Savannah’s historic district. We understand the intricate details, planning and commitment required to undertake a project of this nature, and the importance of maintaining a detailed focus on safety and quality,” says Daniel Pinyan, President of The Pinyan Company. “We are very excited to partner with St. Vincent’s in helping to make this dream a reality.”

Pinyan further adds that onsite access to the construction areas will be limited and securely monitored, and will impose the strictest safety guidelines and all CDC precautions to ensure the safety of all students, parents, faculty and staff.

Construction on the 175-year-old campus structure is scheduled in two major phases, with phase one scheduled to be completed prior to the start of the 2020-2021 academic school year in August. The project is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2021.

PHASE I

  • Interior non-structural demolition work on the third floor of the Convent Building

PHASE II

  • Expanded classroom space
  • Expanded administrative office space
  • Addition of one-on-one tutoring space
  • Expansion of conference space for students, faculty and parents.

The cost of the construction project is being funded by the school’s ongoing capital campaign. Collectively, generous alumni, businesses, organizations and other donors throughout the region have provided the necessary funds to cover more than half the project costs, and hence initiate construction. Meanwhile, the school’s fundraising campaign remains active in soliciting the remaining needed funds.

About St. Vincent’s Academy

A 175-year old educational icon in Savannah, St. Vincent’s Academy was founded in 1845 by the Sisters of Mercy to provide the city’s young women an excellent educational experience rooted in traditional Catholic values. St. Vincent’s is one of the oldest educational institutions in the country and the oldest Mercy sponsored secondary school in the nation.

A member of MESA (Mercy Education System of America), St. Vincent’s remains grounded in fidelity to the charism, core values and traditions of Catholic faith and the Sisters of Mercy. St. Vincent’s Academy is widely known for its commitment to academic excellence, religious and spiritual values, service to the community, competitive athletics, and instilling a quest for life-long learning in its students. For additional information, or to make a financial contribution to the convent restoration project, please visit svaga.net.

About Lominack, Kolman Smith Architects

With a strong reputation in the Savannah community as a design-oriented firm seeking imaginative solutions within the framework of proven and familiar techniques, Lominack, Kolman Smith Architectural firm (LKS) is known for their creative environments born from thoughtful, responsive and responsible designs.

Formed by the 2001 merger of Lominack Associates Architects, a 27 year-old firm, and Kolman & Smith Architects, a 41 year-old firm, LKS is a multifaceted design firm with extensive experience. The firm offers .comprehensive architectural services for a wide range of building types and projects including new building design, historic preservation, sustainable design, interior design and planning. For additional information, go to lksarchitects.com.

About The Pinyan Company

The Pinyan Company is a locally-owned construction management / general contracting firm specializing in commercial, industrial, institutional and multi-unit housing construction. Founded in 2001 by Daniel W. Pinyan Jr., the company has established itself as one of the most client-focused, quality-conscious, and team-oriented firms in the region. Known for its acute attention to detail and an unwavering commitment to high-quality, on-time projects, The Pinyan Company defines itself as “a full service customer advocate and partner.”

Holding unlimited general contracting licenses in both Georgia and South Carolina, The Pinyan Company has completed numerous projects in the higher education, retail, commercial, industrial and religious sectors, as well as numerous projects in the Savannah Historic District. The company’s list of clients includes Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, Georgia Ports Authority, Savannah College of Art and Design, Armstrong Atlantic State University, Fresenius Medical Care, Memorial Health University Medical Center, Family Dollar and Verizon Wireless. For additional information, go to pinyan.net.

Thank you so much to our million dollar donors who helped spearhead this project,
Thank you so much to our million dollar donors who helped spearhead this project, Ed & Jan Brown. Pictured left to right are: 2019 - 2020 SVA Board Chair, Brian Griffin, Mrs. Jan Brown, Mr. Edward J. Brown III, and SVA President, Mrs. Mary Anne Hogan.

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