By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Apr 05, 2017 at 8:20 AM

This morning we received a press release from Jean L Merry, communications director of Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi, saying that the former St. Mary's Academy/Marian Center building at 3195 S. Superior St., in St. Francis, will be deconstructed and replaced.

The complex – near the southern end of Bay View – dates to 1904 and 1930 and, over the years, has been home to Cardinal Stritch College, St. Mary's Academy and the Marian Center for Nonprofits.

Here is the statement in full:

Preliminary plans for the new Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi (OSF) convent will be presented to the City of St. Francis Common Council on Wednesday evening, April 5, by Groth Design Group and VJS Construction Services on behalf of the sisters. The facility will be built on the site of the now closed Marian Center for Nonprofits, originally St. Mary’s Academy, at 3195 South Superior Street.

The new construction is being designed to provide suitable housing for 80 sisters who presently live at the Motherhouse and in a former seminary residence adjacent to the grounds. These aging sisters reside in small rooms, inadequate for elder care, in structures which no longer meet their basic health and safety needs.

The OSF congregation and its contractors are targeting the end of April for the first steps in the deconstruction of the Marian Center. The initial phase will be the salvage of artifacts of historical importance, the 1904 and 1930 cornerstones, and items that can be re-purposed in the new facility.

After more than five years of working with consultants and studying the options, it became clear that it is neither practical nor economically viable to maintain the century-old Marian Center structure and the 1800s Motherhouse.

The anticipated start time for construction is late summer.

To see inside the Marian Center, check out this Urban Spelunking article from last year. More on the sprawling Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi complex can be found in this Urban Spelunking article.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.