Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, received approval from The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod’s (LCMS) Board of Directors for a financing plan of up to $26 million to purchase the adjacent Christian Brothers College High School (CBC) campus and to complete necessary renovation work. The financing plan was submitted by Concordia Seminary for approval and involves the sale of bonds instead of a long-term loan in order to cover the purchase and renovation of the CBC campus. The bonds will be offered in the near future for purchase by several financial institutions.
“We are grateful for this vote of confidence by the Synod’s Board of Directors,” commented Dr. John F. Johnson, president of Concordia Seminary. “In approving the financial plan we submitted, the Board obviously agrees with us that this is a historic opportunity for our church. It is one of the most significant developments in Concordia Seminary’s 164-year history, and those who have toured the CBC facilities over the past two years agree with us that this is an opportunity that simply cannot be ignored.”
The CBC property is currently owned by the Marvin M. Schwan Charitable Foundation, a Lutheran-related charitable foundation, which purchased it for the Seminary’s exclusive acquisition and use. The purchase by the Schwan Foundation was completed on January 29, 2002. Since that time, CBC has been renting the facilities from the Schwan Foundation while awaiting the completion of its new campus in western St. Louis County. On Dec. 1, 2003, CBC officials relinquished to representatives from the Schwan Foundation the keys for the CBC campus buildings, marking another milestone toward their eventual use by Concordia Seminary.
“We are grateful to the Schwan Foundation for the generosity, leadership and insight they demonstrated when they purchased the campus,” commented Johnson. “I know they were struck by the tremendous potential these facilities offer and made a significant financial commitment to secure this campus. In holding the deed to these facilities over the past two years, the Schwan Foundation has provided us the time to assemble a responsible fiscal plan to secure the facilities and to make initial plans for renovation and utilization ”
The eight-acre CBC campus is adjacent to Concordia Seminary’s 72-acre campus and provides the Seminary with an additional eight buildings containing 116,000 square feet of usable space. The facilities include classrooms, offices, a theater and library complex, a gymnasium and sports annex, and a cafeteria. The grounds include a football/soccer field, a track, tennis courts and a 152-space parking lot.
The Seminary will not make any dramatic changes to the CBC campus and will utilize it for educational purposes. Proposed utilization plans include a continuing education center for pastors and laity, additional classroom space to address the Seminary’s dramatically increasing enrollment and the relocation of other entities currently housed on the Seminary’s 72-acre campus. A cost savings will result in several cases as needed improvements to facilities on the main campus, such as the Seminary’s fieldhouse, will be made unnecessary by their relocation to the CBC site.
The bond sale commits Concordia Seminary to paying back the investors who purchase the bonds and the agreed-upon interest accrued. The Seminary found that this option provided better financial options than securing a long-term loan. The Seminary also will seek additional funding to meet this financial commitment.
“The CBC campus is a tremendous opportunity for our church, and I am confident that the church will respond with enthusiastic support,” commented Leonard Fiedler, vice president for development at Concordia Seminary. “Our Synod took a bold step of faith more than 75 years ago when it authorized the purchase of the 72-acre site for our current campus and appealed for the funding necessary to construct our beautiful campus. Those who came before us realized how important it was to have the very best facilities possible to prepare tomorrow’s pastors. I believe that the members of our church will exercise similar faith and foresight at this historic juncture for its Seminary.”
For more information on the CBC campus site, contact Alan Meyer, the Seminary’s vice president for institutional planning and research, at 314-505-7237. For more information on offering financial support for the utilization of the CBC campus site, contact Leonard Fiedler, the Seminary’s vice president for development, at 314-505-7352 or 800-822-5287. Both also can be reached by writing to Concordia Seminary, 801 DeMun Ave., St. Louis, MO 63105.