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Historic Opportunity for Concordia Seminary

A Lutheran-related charitable foundation has purchased Christian Brothers College High School (CBC) in Clayton, Mo. in behalf of Concordia Seminary. CBC will occupy the campus until June 2004 when the high school will move to a new campus it is constructing in western St. Louis county. At that time, the charitable foundation will offer it for exclusive purchase and use by Concordia Seminary.

The nine-acre CBC campus is adjacent to Concordia Seminary’s 72-acre campus and provides the Seminary with an additional eight buildings containing 169,000 square feet of 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.

“We knew that we may never have this opportunity again and there was overwhelming encouragement to purchase the CBC campus,” commented Dr. John F. Johnson, president of Concordia Seminary. “The opportunity to purchase education facilities of this caliber directly adjacent to our campus is the most significant development in Concordia Seminary’s history since our Clayton campus was dedicated in 1926. We are grateful to the charitable foundation for its partnership in this purchase and we are excited about the future possibilities the CBC campus will provide.”

Two years ago CBC announced plans to relocate to a larger campus west of its current campus. Speculation began immediately within the St. Louis area regarding potential purchasers of CBC’s Clayton campus. Following a tour of the CBC campus in September, Concordia Seminary officials informed CBC that the Seminary would be interested in discussing the purchase of the campus. Johnson then informed officials of The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS) that the CBC campus would be available for purchase in the near future. The LCMS Board of Directors, the LCMS Board for Higher Education, the Seminary’s Board of Regents and its President’s Advisory Council all voted unanimously to support the CBC purchase.

A sealed bid process took place which resulted in Concordia’s offer being submitted on Friday, Nov. 9, together with an undisclosed number of bids from other potential purchasers. On Tuesday, Nov. 13, Johnson was informed by CBC officials that Concordia’s offer had been accepted.

The closing procedures for the purchase are scheduled to take place in January 2002. At that point, CBC will begin a lease arrangement with the charitable foundation until CBC’s new campus is ready for occupancy. Details of the purchase price and lease arrangement are not being released.

Concordia Seminary will begin efforts immediately to inform the members of the 2.55 million member LCMS concerning the historic opportunity available to it through the purchase of the CBC campus. “I am confident that the church will respond with enthusiastic support for this unprecedented opportunity,” commented Leonard Fiedler, the Seminary’s vice president for development. “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. They realized how important it was to have the very best facilities possible to prepare tomorrow’s pastors, missionaries and chaplains. I believe that the members of our church will exercise similar faith and foresight at this historic juncture for its Seminary.”

Concordia Seminary has stated that it will not make any dramatic changes to the CBC campus and will utilize it for educational purposes. “The magnificent facade of the CBC classroom and administration building on Clayton Road is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the St. Louis area,” commented Johnson. “We are very happy to assure CBC alumni and area residents that we will retain the existing buildings on the campus and will utilize them for their historic purpose.”

For more information, contact Seminary Relations, Concordia Seminary, 801 DeMun Ave., St. Louis, MO 63105; 314.505.7370; semrelations@csl.edu.