Plans for old Lourdes High School still on hold

The former Lourdes High School on West Center Street at Seventh Avenue.

The fate of a more than 70-year-old downtown Rochester building is still in limbo more than five years after it was vacated.

The former Lourdes High School, parts of which date to 1941, stands empty at 621 W. Center St. The Catholic school moved out in 2013 and moved to a newly built complex on 19th Street Northwest.

The old building was recently placed on a list of historic structures that advocates would like to preserve.

Mayo Clinicbought the 136,000-square-foot building for $5.8 million on June 27, 2013, from Lourdes Development Inc.

Driven by the Destination Medical Centerinitiative, the race to develop downtown Rochester has heated up in recent years as has the demand for more parking.


Those factors have many wondering what Mayo Clinic’s plan are for the old school complex. Evidently, clinic officials are also still looking for answers themselves.

"Mayo Clinic continues to maintain the building, but there are no immediate plans for the space," wrote Mayo Clinic’s Kelley Lucksteinthis week.

That’s the same statement Mayo Clinic has used to respond to questions about the ex-Lourdes High School, since the purchase in 2013.

The Heritage Preservation Commissionplans to meet with Mayo Clinic representatives on Feb. 26 to discuss several properties, including the former Lourdes High School.

When Mayo Clinic bought the school in 2013, Olmsted Countyestimated its total market value at $11.1 million with the land valued at $2.3 million and the building at $8.8 million.

Those estimates changed dramatically in 2014, when the property was re-classified as "Commercial Preferential." The building estimate dropped to $4.3 million and the land value climbed to $3.5 million for a total estimated value of $7.8 million.

After a jump to an estimate of $8.13 million for 2015 and 2016, Olmsted County notched the estimated value back to $7.85 million for 2017-2018.

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