CHICAGO (CBS) — The University of Chicago plans to buy the Meadville Lombard Unitarian Universalist theological school’s current building, as the seminary moves to a new location.

The U of C plans to buy the seminary’s main academic and administrative building at 5701 S. Woodlawn Ave., according to a university news release.

Meadville Lombard, located close to the First Unitarian Church, has decided the building no longer serves the needs of the seminary.

The educational model for the seminary has shifted from a small residential operation to larger classes that use innovative distance-learning methods, combined with periodic intensive sessions. The sale will allow Meadville Lombard to reallocate its resources to its core mission, the release said.

The U of C now plans to use the building for its own classes.

The building consists of 14,100 square feet, and houses classrooms, a library, a lounge and administrative offices.

Meadville Lombard describes its mission as being to “educate students in the Unitarian Universalist tradition to embody liberal religious ministry” in Unitarian congregations or “wherever else they are called to serve.”

The seminary is located just northeast of the U of C’s Main Campus, about a block from the bustling Reynolds Club student union and the Regenstein Library.

The sale still must be approved by the U of C Board of Trustees. It is expected to close in December of this year.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.