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Parts of Sinsinawa Property Transitioning
to Better Serve the Community
The Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa are exploring the possibility of the transition of ownership of some of their buildings at Sinsinawa Mound. The goal is to reuse the existing buildings in ways that align with the ongoing mission of the Dominican Sisters. There are two interested parties evaluating options to repurpose buildings at the Mound. One is a local contractor, Tricon Construction Group (Dubuque, IA), that is exploring redeveloping the buildings into an active senior housing project and perhaps hosting ancillary events such as weddings. The other is an agricultural consortium interested in creating an education center with a focus on regenerative agriculture and human health. Both groups are working on proposals which will be delivered in May 2023.
The Sisters’ work in the region in the last 175 years has brought great value, but with fewer Sisters and staff, the expansive campus is no longer being fully used. The Congregation hopes to repurpose all the buildings to be of lasting value to the communities it serves. The buildings that will transition to other mission-aligned partners include part of the 1899 St. Clara Convent and the 1964 buildings, which house an industrial kitchen, dining room, a pool/wellness area, single bedroom suites, community room living spaces, offices, and the three-story Rotunda structure. The Rotunda houses Queen of the Rosary Chapel, a 500-seat auditorium, library, exhibit areas, and office space.
The Sinsinawa Dominicans plan to maintain a community presence at Sinsinawa into the foreseeable future. As part of the transition, a majority of the Sisters will move to an assisted living center in Muskego, Wis., in 2023. Twenty to 30 Sisters will continue to live and work at Sinsinawa and occupy the remaining Mound buildings and facilities such as the St. Clara Chapel, the Stone Building, Westknoll, and Rachel House. The Sinsinawa Mound Collaborative Farm, as well as other ecological initiatives, will continue to utilize the natural beauty and unique character of the land at Sinsinawa Mound. Workshops and retreats will continue, and the Congregation is exploring options for maintaining the bakery. The Academy Apartments will continue to serve as housing for senior citizens. Sisters needing skilled care will continue to reside at St. Dominic Villa at Sinsinawa.
“We are positioning ourselves for a more sustainable future,” said Prioress Sister Toni Harris, OP. “Sinsinawa Mound will remain as our Motherhouse and as a center of ministry, and we will continue to have a presence in southwest Wisconsin.”