FSPA announces plans for major renovation of St. Rose Complex

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Back in 1871 the original St. Rose Convent was built in La Crosse.

Now this week, the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration announced plans for a major renovation for the St. Rose Complex, the first major project in over 20 years.

"We plan on being here a very long time and we're being proactive in making these changes and part of our philosophy is to meet the needs of the times. That includes us, as well as those in the community," said Renovation Committee Chair Sister Sue Ernster.

The plans for the renovation include updated living spaces, dining facilities and increased access for members and visitors.

Just under half of the 175,000 square foot complex is planned on being renovated.

For the sisters, the goal is to be as sustainable and accessible as possible.

"One of the main goals for the Franciscan sisters, and the spirituality center, is hospitality. And we realize that part of hospitality is making our building accessible both for our members and our visitors because we have many visitors who came to visit the chapel," said Ernster.

The $22 million renovation is expected to be worked on in several phases and be completed in two years.

All of the funds have been saved by the FSPA over the years and will also go towards the Franciscan Spirituality Center as part of the renovation.

"We have done some minor renovations over the years. We opened in the 1980s and we recently remodeled some meeting rooms and our reception area for example, but this will be a major renovation," said Spirituality Center Director Audrey Lucier.

The center sees over 7,500 visitors every year for retreats and programs.

They plan on getting technology upgrades, additional beds and bathrooms for guests, and more.

Construction is expected to start in March 2019 and the sisters say the Mary of the Angels Chapel and the Adoration Chapel will not close during the two year project.

This month, the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration marked 140 years of praying non-stop, the longest continuous prayer in the United States, according to FSPA.

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