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Milwaukee university plans housing for nuns and single women with children

Dec. 3, 2019
The $40 million facility at Mount Mary University would have a mix of assisted living space, two-bedroom apartments and family units.

Mount Mary University in Milwaukee is planning to build a $40 million housing complex for aging nuns and for college students who also are single mothers.

The university says in Mount Mary Magazine that the project is expected to break ground in mid-2020 contingent upon city of Milwaukee review and approval.

The housing is described as a three-way venture of the School Sisters of Notre Dame, Mount Mary University and the Milwaukee Catholic Home, which manages the care now provided to the School Sisters of Notre Dame.

The new housing complex will accommodate the spectrum of care needs for the sisters. It also will offer independent senior housing units to the public, and living space for single mothers who are studying at Mount Mary and their children. An early childhood education center is planned for the premises as well.

“An intergenerational home that will include Sisters and students is a wonderful fit for the campus,” says Mount Mary President Christine Pharr. “There are so many synergies with academic programs, including nursing, dietetics and occupational therapy. It provides many ways to bring us together.”

About 100 nuns now live at a facility in Elm Grove, Wis., and another 100 live throughout the Milwaukee area. All of them will have the opportunity to move to the new facility.

Plans call for 52 assisted living units for nuns who require care, 90 two-bedroom apartments for nuns and other seniors, and 16 to 24 family units for undergraduate single mothers and their children. The assisted living units, family housing and the larger, 90-unit independent senior living structure would connect to a common area, called a “town center,” that will provide services accessible to seniors and students living in the facilities.

The 52 assisted living units are designed to be converted into student residences as housing needs change.

Mount Mary has about 1,400 students. The undergraduate program is for women only; graduate programs are open to women and men.

The project's architect is Plunkett Raysich Architects.

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