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Iconic St. Scholastica building in Fort Smith to be demolished

“After years of looking, no feasible uses for the Former Monastery Building panned out."

FORT SMITH, Ark. — For almost a century the castle on Albert Pike has been a constant in Fort Smith. Many have wondered what it is. Many know. In June, the former home of the Benedictine Sisters of St. Scholastica Monastery will tumble down, leaving only memories of the iconic building near Trinity Junior High. 

Demolition of Saint Scholastica’s former monastery building, located at 1301 S. Albert Pike Ave. in Fort Smith, is scheduled to begin June 1, noted a news release from the monastery. 

“The decision to demolish the Former Monastery Building is not one that the Benedictine Sisters made lightly or without years of research and discernment. Since 2010, Saint Scholastica has engaged in communications with consultants, realtors, and friends of the community about feasible uses for the nearly 100-year-old building,” the news release said. 

To repurpose the building into anything else would require significant investment with a great cost needed to bring it up to code and to adjust the layout for practical uses, the release said. A quote obtained several years ago estimated renovation to be more than $15 million, including all electrical and plumbing updates. 

“After years of looking, no feasible uses for the Former Monastery Building panned out,” the news release said. 

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