The Guadalupe Centers, Inc. purchase former Saint Paul’s School of Theology Campus

Posted February 19, 2014 at 1:57 pm

Joe Jarosz

Northeast News
Feb. 19, 2014

The Guadalupe Centers, Inc. announced they have purchased the over 160,000 square feet Saint Paul’s School of Theology campus. The 10 building campus sits on just over 18 acres of land located at 5203 E. Truman Road in northeast Kansas City.

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In a press release, the Centers announced plans to re-purpose a couple buildings on the campus to support individuals and families in the northeast and east side neighborhoods. Jean Paul Chaurand, COO of the Centers, said the re-purposing isn’t extensive, however, they would like to “turn on the lights and heat and get going” as soon as possible. Chaurand added the community will see members of the organization be active on the campus soon, but its first programing won’t be until summer when it offers summer school.

Saint Paul’s School of Theology called northeast Kansas City home for 47 years before relocating to the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kan., in 2012.

According to its website, the mission of the Centers is to “improve the quality of life for individuals in the Latino communities” in the greater Kansas City area. Annually, the organization serves more than 8,000 individuals and families through its services.

The goal for the newly acquired campus facility will be to offer a wide range of programs and services directly and through partnerships with local institutions. These services include: a charter elementary school, after school programming for children, kindergarten to eighth grade summer school, an early childhood education center, culinary arts training, adult education and job training, family support services, a credit union office, independent senior housing and an event catering services and facility.

In the release, Cris Medina, CEO of the Guadalupe Centers Inc., said the need of the community “especially for Kansas City’s rapidly increasing Latino population,” continues to grow “in parts of the city where disinvestment and disenfranchisement has occurred.” He added the acquisition points to the Centers commitment to its mission and area of Kansas City.

“We are truly thankful to Saint Paul’s for providing us with this opportunity to carry forth their tremendous investment and continue to make the campus an asset for the community,” Medina said.

The Guadalupe Centers, Inc. was provided financing from Raza Development Fund, the nation’s largest Hispanic CDFI loan fund, to acquire the site from St. Paul’s. Medina said the organization is “truly appreciative of the Raza Development Fund” for providing them with the resources to secure and renovate the site.

Medina added the Centers is undergoing a “tremendous growth period in response to the need of the people” the organization serves.

“The acquisition of Saint Paul’s truly positions the organization in a manner to better meet these needs,” Medina said. “We look forward to honoring the legacy of Saint Paul’s and making the campus a success the community and city can celebrate.”