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Sunday, January 26, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

The Academy’s transformation to student rental units is complete

The Academy, a residential building near Gonzaga University that used to be an assisted- senior living facility, is seeking applications for student rental units available in August 2020.

The elderly residents of the 90 units were evicted more than a year ago following the building’s sale to Utah-based Stellar Living, a family-owned and -operated company that provides independent and assisted living as well as respite services at eight facilities in Western Washington, Idaho, Colorado, Utah and Arizona.

Stellar Living purchased the building for $4.7 million in November 2018, according to county property records. Since then, the company has done a major renovation to the building, and its “revitalized apartments display modern design and thoughtful craftsmanship, while still preserving the historic character of the striking Victorian-style building,” according to its website.

The building has studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments that include “plank flooring, white quartz countertops and stainless steel appliances.”

According to, rents will be about $960.

Now, instead of catering to seniors, the building is “the perfect option for students, as well as those who simply love being close to the cultural core of Spokane.”

The building was constructed in 1891 and served as a private school for young women called the Holy Names Academy.

By 1902, the school had more than 235 students, and five years later it became one of the state’s first private schools to offer a high school curriculum and teacher training courses for young women.

In 1938, the school began offering a four-year bachelor’s degree in education, and Holy Names College was built next door in 1941. Holy Names Academy closed in 1975 as the school faced dwindling enrollment numbers and expensive maintenance. In its more than 80 years of operation, about 5,000 students attended the school.

When Stellar purchased the building and evicted its residents, Adam Benton, the company’s senior vice president, said the company had looked at options to keep residents in the building but it wasn’t possible because of the extensive renovations required to get the building up to code.

“To bring The Academy to a nicely renovated building would be incredibly disruptive to the residents,” he said in 2018. “We had to weigh that with the comfort and safety of residents. There was no way to keep services going while anybody was living in the building.”

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