Opus bringing new life to 147-year-old former campus infirmary

shattuckby Dan Rafter

The Opus Group has decades of experience renovating and expanding collegiate facilities. The company has also tackled its share of renovations at historic buildings.

That’s good news for the school leaders at Shattuck-St. Mary’s, an Episcopal boarding and day school in Faribault, Minn. The Opus Group is now in the middle of construction on its latest institutional project, turning the 18,500-square-foot Phelps Infirmary building into an on-campus inn with meeting and conference space.

Once complete, the newly renamed Inn at Shattuck-St. Mary’s will serve as the diocesan retreat and meeting center for the Episcopal Church in the state of Minneosta.

Tim Callahan, senior project manager at Opus Design Build, said that his company’s experience with institutional projects — the company has handled recent renovation projects at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis and Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, among others — made Opus the obvious choice for the Shattuck job.

“We have a long history of this kind of work,” Callahan said. “On a lot of college campuses, we’ve done remodels of fairly old buildings. We’ve done a lot of residential work similar to the hotel/inn concept that we are doing for Shattuck.”

The infirmary building is an old one, 147 years old. Remodeling such an old building is never an easy task.

“There are always surprises when you work on a building of this age,” Callahan said. “But so far, we’ve not run into any major roadblocks. Certainly, digging into and remodeling the space has been a unique experience. It’s been fun to bring the building back to life and give it a new use for the school. It’s interesting to see how people built spaces like this in that time, and how things have changed.”

Opus began the renovation and expansion project in July, and Callahan says that construction should wrap in October.

The project includes a complete remodel of the 147-year-old infirmary building and will add 10,200 square feet of new space to the two-story facility. The first floor of the building will feature a large meeting room with adjustable partitions, a catering kitchen and a bar and lounge area that can be used for meetings and events.

The second floor will provide 12 guest suites.

Nick Stoneman, president of Shattuck-St. Mary’s school, says that the renovation project is long overdue.

“Renewing our oldest building on campus and giving it new life brings great pride and joy to our school community,” he said.

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