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Seminary Home gets an overhaul

An open house is planned for early March to give neighbors an opportunity to check out all of the changes made to Seminary Professional Building. Michael Brun / RiverTown Multimedia.1 / 3
A yoga space is among the new rooms in the 44,000-square-foot Seminary Professional Building. Around 70 Mayo Clinic Health System employees work out of the building. Michael Brun / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 3
The former Memorial Seminary Home on College Avenue in Red Wing is now the Seminary Professional Building. The renovated space houses Mayo Clinic Health System staff as well as the free community CARE Clinic. Michael Brun / RiverTown Multimedia3 / 3

When the Professional and Community Center closed down in 2018, Mayo Clinic Health System staff working out of the West Fourth Street hospital building needed a new home. They found it a few blocks away in the renovated and redubbed Seminary Professional Building.

The former Memorial Seminary Home on College Avenue received numerous upgrades that Mayo Clinic Health System administrators said provide a modern space for employees and the community.

"What a great repurposing of a facility that needed it," said Steve Gudgell, vice chair of administration, southeast Minnesota, with Mayo Clinic Health System in Cannon Falls, Lake City and Red Wing. He added, "It's a rebuilt building from the roof down."

Though Gudgell said "seminary" was kept in the name to honor the storied history of the building, the interior is anything but dated.

Among the redone rooms are a new waiting area, conference space and yoga studio.

"We took every resident room and literally tore everything out — ceilings, bathrooms, all the finishes were redone," said Glenn Mattson, director of facilities at Mayo Clinic Health System in Cannon Falls, Lake City and Red Wing. "We completely turned them over and they are now large open spaces converted over to office space."

The $1 million-plus project was completed largely by local contractors.

Former tenant St. Crispin Living Community moved out of the Seminary Home and into a new skilled nursing center on Pioneer Road across from Minnesota State College Southeast.

On the move

Around 70 employees in the Behavioral Health, Integrative Medicine and Health, Hospice and other administrative departments have moved into the renovated space. The building also is the new home for the free community CARE Clinic.

"It is such a wonderful gift to have this space," CARE Clinic Clinical Director Julie Malyon said. "It's working really well with our patients."

CARE Clinic was one of several area nonprofits that used space free of charge in the Professional and Community Center. When the closing of the building was announced a year ago, the groups had to look elsewhere.

Mattson said much of the office furniture in the old building was donated to area nonprofits such as Red Wing Family YMCA, Environmental Learning Center and Hispanic Outreach.

A better fit

Mayo Clinic Health System announced last week a purchasing agreement for the Professional and Community Center had been reached with Twin Cities-based real estate developer Global Mercantile, which plans to convert the property for mixed-use housing.

Mayo Clinic Health System cited building maintenance issues — growing in cost and complexity — for the decision to shutter the Professional and Community Center. The 44,000-square-foot seminary building also is a better fit for the organization's space needs compared to the expansive 130,000 square feet of the old hospital building.

And, unlike the Professional and Community Center, the Seminary Professional Building has only one floor and doesn't require patients to use stairs or an elevator.

Mayo Clinic Health System staff last week shared a few choice words they and patients have used to describe the renovated Seminary Professional Building: "beautiful," "communal" and "great atmosphere."

A community open house is planned for early March.

Michael Brun

Michael Brun joined RiverTown Multimedia at the Red Wing Republican Eagle in March 2013, covering county government, health and local events.  He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls journalism program.

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