Iconic St. Scholastica building in Fort Smith to be demolished
Little Rock, Arkansas — According to a news release from the monastery, the demolition of Saint Scholastica’s former monastery building, located at 1301 S. Albert Pike Ave. in Fort Smith, is scheduled to begin on June 1.
“The decision to demolish the Former Monastery Building is not one that the Benedictine Sisters made lightly or without years of research and discernment. Since 2010, Saint Scholastica has engaged in communications with consultants, realtors, and friends of the community about feasible uses for the nearly 100-year-old building,” the news release said.
According to the release, repurposing the building into anything else would require significant investment with a great cost needed to bring it up to code and to adjust the layout for practical uses.
Including all electrical and plumbing updates, a quote obtained several years ago estimated renovation to be more than $15 million.
“After years of looking, no feasible uses for the Former Monastery Building panned out,” the news release said.
The former Monastery building was completed in 1924 after the Benedictine Sisters relocated from their original Arkansas home in New Blaine to what was then the outskirts of Fort Smith.
According to the news release, at the time, the building was a school for day and boarding students for first through 12th grades in addition to being the monastic home when sisters came back to Fort Smith from their missions throughout Arkansas and adjoining states.