With its original cornerstone dating back to 1873, Providence Academy is one of the most historically significant structures in the Pacific Northwest. Having served as an orphanage, regional offices, and boarding school developed and administered by the Sisters of Providence, the building closed with the graduating class of 1966.
For several years, new local owners worked toward preservation of the building but decided to sell it in 2011. In 2012, SERA began working with The Historic Trust and Venerable Properties to study the feasibility of acquiring and renovating Providence Academy, and determine its potential uses and revenue streams. SERA also provided conditions assessments of the surviving buildings and site development studies.
In 2018, SERA designed a refresh of Providence Academy’s major public spaces, including the chapel and auditorium. While maintaining the integrity of these storied spaces, renovations addressed contemporary hospitality and performance needs — from plaster repair, new flooring, and paint schemes to HVAC enhancements, new AV systems, and energy-efficient lighting. By also replacing the building’s main electrical service, SERA laid the groundwork for ongoing preservation efforts.
Today, visitors can admire the faux-painted columns and ornately-carved woodwork designed by pioneering architect, teacher and nun Mother Joseph Pariseau of the Sisters of Providence.