Scranton, PA – On the site where students attended school for a century, patients could soon see doctors.
With a bid of $750,000, Geisinger Community Medical Center agreed to purchase John Audubon Elementary School – its neighbor across the 1800 block of Mulberry Street – at the Scranton School District‘s auction Thursday. Geisinger will most likely demolish the building, though it has no specific plans, said Robert Davies, the health system’s chief support services officer.
After moving students out in 2010 because of mold, the district permanently shuttered the school earlier this year because it was too expensive to reopen.
GCMC may first demolish the school and use the property as a staging area for the hospital’s upcoming expansion project.
Scranton‘s financial house may be in disorder, but the downtown residential boom continues to build momentum.
More than $11.3 million in three ongoing developments will add 74 apartments to Central City by next summer.
“Scranton is a hot commodity,” said Charlie Jefferson, an investor in the $8.6 million redevelopment of the Scranton Chamber of Commerce Building at Mulberry Street and North Washington Avenue.
Scranton’s municipal government is facing a credit crisis and recently borrowed $6.25 million to cover short-term financial obligations. City residents could face potential tax increases of 39 to 79 percent – or more – over the next three years.