By Nick Fonda
Five years after taking over a building that has alternately been described as an architectural gem and a white elephant, the non-profit organization that owns the Couvent-Mont-Saint-Patrice in Richmond is in the home stretch of an ongoing fundraising campaign.
“It’s been a long haul,” says Benoit Saint-Pierre who has been president of the board of the Couvent-Mont-Saint-Patrice since its inception in 2016, “but we are on the cusp of making the building self-sustaining.”
The retired chemical engineer who has called Richmond home for the last decade goes on, “We have received a lot of support, and this shows in the changes to the old convent. This final campaign to raise $750 000 will permit us to install an elevator making all five floors easily accessible. We’re confident that we’ll find tenants for the office and studio spaces that are unoccupied, currently about 25% of the building.”
“An occupancy rate of 80% is what the Convent needs to be self-sustaining,” he continues, “so we’re quite close.”