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Students who enroll for the Spring 2007 semester at Aquinas Institute will have the opportunity to become inaugural residents of an apartment community open for the exclusive use of the school.

When University Village Loft Apartments opens in January, 41 of the 242 units will be designated as housing for Aquinas Institute. They will serve students who are in classrooms at Aquinas Institute every week and others who come occasionally from across the United States for long weekends of intensive study.

The layout of apartments will allow students to form a community within a community, sharing common spaces such as a meeting room, meditation area, and kitchen. Each unit also will have its own kitchen.

The building, mere yards from the front door of the school, is one more piece in a $55 million renovation project on this once-blighted block of Midtown St. Louis. The new Aquinas Institute, which opened in January, was the first completed piece of the project. The renovation of this century-old, former factory has won rave reviews for its architectural innovations and sensitivity to historic preservation.

The apartments, mostly one- and two-bedroom units with one four-bedroom unit, will offer residents high-speed internet access, cable television and parking in a garage that is connected to the building. Developer Rick Yackey said the apartment building also will have a swimming pool, exercise room, coffee shop and a restaurant.

For Aquinas Institute, the apartments are a chance to bring to an even deeper level the school’s commitment to fostering a culture in which students progress individually and collectively through study and prayer.

Ron Knapp, dean of students for Aquinas Institute, said the addition of the residential space also will have practical benefits for students.

“For the person who likes to save the time and gas of commuting, this is ideal,” he said. “For a person who doesn’t want a car and prefers to live more simply, this could be a great option.”

For information about the apartment community, call Knapp at 314.256.8803. 

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