St. Paul School of Theology plans move to Leawood, to concern of neighbors

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - For decades the St. Paul School of Theology has been considered the jewel of its area, but now it must change locations to survive.

The school president said it is moving to Leawood, Kan. The current property is about 19 acres, but with a student body of fewer than 200, the location is not practical.

Dr. Myron McCoy has been the school's president for ten years. McCoy has seen more than 300 people graduate from school's program. One of the schools most prominent graduates is Congressman Emanuel Cleaver.

"We have tried to be part of a stabilizing force in the community. We have opened our doors to different community organizations," McCoy said.

People in the community will soon lose their good neighbor. Endowment dollars are dwindling and the 217,000 square foot space that sits at the corner of Truman and Van Brunt is too big for the student body

McCoy said moving locations will be a huge adjustment.

"This is very sacred space for us, for almost 50 years we have been in this location," he explained.

President of the board at Elmwood Cemetery, John Weilert, is worried about what will be left behind.

"Our main concern is who will come take the place of St. Paul. Who will occupy the property?" Weilert said.

Weilert said he fears vandals will move into the area if the school sits empty. McCoy said the school will send out requests for proposals next week, and some groups have already expressed interest in the property.

St. Paul had a community meeting to get public input a few months ago. The school also said it will be very transparent thought this process and keep the community informed.

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