67-year-old Rhinelander convent makes way to playground, parking and green spaceSubmitted: 07/17/2019
67-year-old Rhinelander convent makes way to playground, parking and green space
Stephen Goin
Stephen Goin

Photos By Nativity of our Lord Parish

RHINELANDER - Nativity of our Lord Parish in Rhinelander will see more structural changes following the renovation of its worship space in February 2018.

In late June, the parish began demolition on St. Mary's convent on the corner of E. King St. and S. Pelham St. 

Constructed from 1952 to 1953, the parish used the former convent as an office until it moved business operations to St. Mary's old priest rectory earlier this year. Parish business manager Michael DeBay says the former convent was "beyond its usable life."

The parish will work with Miron Construction to redesign the exterior wall that connected the convent to the parish school for prekindergarten to 8th grade students. Students at the Catholic school ended their academic year early to accommodate the scheduled demolition.

Miron will use the exterior wall to create a new vestibule leading from inside the school to outside by the start of the 2019 fall semester. 

DeBay says the remaining land will become 'green space,' a renovated playground and additional parking spaces. He says the parish ultimately wanted to "reduce its footprint."

The church is still in the process of raising the funds needed to pay for renovations to the former convent site, although DeBay hopes the site can be completely refurbished in a couple of years. 

Nativity of Our Lord Parish was formed in January 2005 following the consolidation of St. Joseph's Congregation established in 1909 and The Congregation of the Immaculate Conception also known as St. Mary's, which traces its beginnings to around 1883.

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