Fenwick Closes on Priory Property

Fenwick High School closes on the purchase of 7 acres and adjacent Priory building from Dominican University in River Forest, IL.
The two local educational institutions’ aim: “To enhance access to high-quality, Catholic education.”
May 20, 2022 – Fenwick High School officially closed on the purchase from Dominican University of seven acres of property and the adjacent Priory building in River Forest, IL. “Today marks an historic milestone for our storied educational institution, which celebrates its 91st commencement ceremony on May 27,” said President Fr. Richard Peddicord, O.P. “Although ultimate usage plans still are pending, the acquisition of this building and land bode well for the future of Fenwick as the Friars approach our centennial in 2029.”
In early December 2021, Fenwick signed a letter of intent to purchase the old “House of Studies” building, which dates back to 1924 and which the university acquired in 2002 from the Chicago-based Dominican Central Province of St. Albert the Great. While other prospective buyers expressed interest in the Priory Campus, Fenwick provided the best overall bid for the use of the property, according to Dominican University President Glena Temple, PhD. Dr. Temple also noted that a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Fenwick, regarding the use of the St. Thomas Aquinas Priory and Dominican Conference Center situated at Harlem Ave. and Division St., will allow for additional collaboration between the university and high school.
“We look forward to working with Fenwick in promoting Dominican education,” Temple said. “This sale is important for the future of the university, and it will allow the priory, which initially belonged to the Dominican Friars, to transfer to another Dominican institution.”

Late last year, the high school and college jointly drafted a MOU outlining four areas of collaboration: 1) academics, 2) athletics, 3) mission/ministry and 4) marketing communications/admission. Several preliminary discussions between representatives of both schools have ensued, with the next meeting scheduled for May 31.
In related facilities news, Fenwick also expects to close on another 11 neighboring acres of athletic fields, which the school presently leases from the Province of St. Albert the Great, in the spring of 2023.
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