St. Patrick Catholic School lot to be repurposed spring 2021

The 1930′s St. Patrick’s Catholic School in Eau Claire torn down earlier this year, will be repurposed into a parking lot.
Published: Mar. 7, 2021 at 7:30 PM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -Audrey Boerner and Elaine Carlson are Sacred Heart of Jesus-St. Patrick Parish council members.

They say the decision to demolish the 1930′s St. Patrick’s Catholic School wasn’t easy.

“We spent a lot of time over the past few years using the school not only as a school but also as a parish center, but started to realize that it was coming to the end of its useful life,” says Boerner.

Sacred Heart Parish and St. Patrick’s Parish merged about 20 years ago and at that point they had two of everything. Two church buildings, two schools, two parish directories.

Boerner says the building has deep roots in the community and many Eau Claire residents grew up in the halls of the school.

“There were a lot of people in the community that had a lot of good memories at this school and a lot of them were able to come and visit while it was open before it was demolished and shared a lot of those stories with us,” says Boerner. “It really is a beautiful part of our history, for our neighborhood for our church and for our community.”

For several years, they have been looking for ways to repurpose the space and turning it into a parking lot, Carlson says makes the most fiscal sense.

“It was part of the St. Patrick’s Parish for so long but with all the costs involved in maintaining it and if we were to repurpose it coming to ADA compliance and a new roof and many other things that needed to have happened it just really wasn’t feasibly responsible,” says Carlson.

The land the school was built upon will become a parking lot with spaces rented out to Mayo Clinic Health System’s Luther campus.

Eventually that money will make up for the cost of the demolition and bring in money for the parish.

“We also have a lot of young families in this parish who want to see this parish last for a long time and want to make sure we’re making good financial decisions,” says Boerner.

A stronghold in the community being repurposed.

The parish is set to begin paving the lot this May, weather permitting.

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