Expansion of the St. Vincent Academy and renovation of the convent


Christina S. Winters

The conversion of the Convent of Saint Vincent de Paul into classrooms and other uses for the Saint Vincent Academy is completed with doors open to the public following a dedication ceremony on December 4.

The Académie Saint-Vincent, the oldest operating Mercy school in the world, has launched a multi-million dollar renovation project of the Convent of Saint Vincent de Paul, one of the most historic and notable structures in Savannah. The 1845 building on which construction took place is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The renovation of the convent building in 1845 considerably increased the capacity of the physical and educational services of the St. Vincent Academy.

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The more than $ 3 million renovation project took a year and a half, adding over 11,000 additional square feet to the school, allowing for six additional classrooms, meeting space, boardroom, hall museum, offices and small meeting spaces. A new elevator and stair tower were built to reach the third floor from the ground floor. In addition to interior structural renovations, construction also provided the technical advancements and digital infrastructure needed in today’s modern academic settings.

Entrance to the Convent of Saint Vincent de Paul.  The third floor has been converted into usable space for the Académie Saint-Vincent.

Founded in 1845 by the Sisters of Mercy, the structure housed generations of sisters who served both the neighboring school and throughout the community. Hundreds of sisters have lived in space over the years, accomplishing many amazing things in Savannah and providing mission-oriented work for many.

They educated, housed and housed students and orphans. They helped establish parish schools in Georgia, locally staffing Cathedral, Nativity, and Blessed Sacrament day schools. The Sisters cared for wounded soldiers from the Civil War and, at the request of the city, provided personnel to the Forest City Marine Hospital, founded St. Joseph’s Hospital (St. Joseph’s / Candler) and the St. Mary’s Orphanage.

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They have made historic contributions to this city in the fields of education, medicine and pastoral care. Our graduates continue on their way. Over the years, parts of the convent have been adapted to meet the growing need for academic classrooms and improved educational spaces. The last of the resident sisters left the building in 2017, leaving additional space available and ready for use by students and the school. At that time, the sisters requested that the space be used for the students of the Académie Saint-Vincent.

“St. Vincent Academy and the Sisters of Mercy have a nearly two-century commitment to Savannah and the surrounding areas. This major renovation of our campus makes this commitment even stronger, ”said SVA President Mary Anne Hogan. “We are delighted that this project has come to fruition as it has added a much larger dimension, improved educational capabilities and an improved overall experience for our young women in St. Vincent.

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“We were also blessed that our school board members were strongly committed to this project and were diligent in selecting the right partners who they felt would respect and honor the living legacy of this institution and our campus. , while protecting the safety of our students and teachers. Hogan said. “To this end, we are delighted to have the architectural experience of Lominack, Kolman and Smith, as well as the construction team of The Pinyan Co. as partners on this project.

The cost of the construction project was collectively funded through donations from generous alumni, businesses, organizations and other donors from across the region, who provided the necessary funds to cover the costs of the project. The school is especially grateful for the incredible $ 1 million donation from Ed and Jan Brown, who spearheaded the project.

One hundred and seventy-six years of alumni have made and continue to make important personal, service-oriented and professional contributions to the world. Saint-Vincent will now be able to continue this mission in the future with the completion of this renovation.

Christina S. Winters is the Director of Advancement at St. Vincent Academy. She can be contacted at [email protected]

If you are going to

What: Dedication and blessing of the convent

Or: Saint-Vincent Academy, 207 E. Liberty St.

When: 2 p.m. on December 4

Visits: To visit the space on December 4, sign up for a visit to bit.ly/ConventAcademic.

Info: Bishop Stephen D. Parkes will preside over the dedication and blessing


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