What’s Next for Marian Community Hospital?

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Tuesday is the final day for Marian Community Hospital in Carbondale.

Now there are more questions than answers about what will happen to the hospital building that has been part of the community for almost a century.

Since the company that owns the hospital announced it was going out of business no interested buyers have come forward looking to take over the building. Carbondale's mayor said the hospital will sit empty for the foreseeable future.

Mike Barber was born at Marian Community Hospital and has lived next door to it in Carbondale for eight years. He said watching the hospital empty out this week will be strange and sad.

"I don't want to see that building sit there and get destroyed by vandalism. Then nobody's going to want to buy it because they're going to have to spend all this money to fix it up. Then we wont have a hospital for 10 or 20 years," Barber said.

Officials with the city of Carbondale tried repeatedly to market Marian Community to other health care companies, but there have been no interested buyers, troublesome news for some neighbors of the hospital.

"Yeah, because that's been there for so many years when it was Marian Community and then St. Joseph's Center," said Michael Fay of Carbondale.

"We've got the empty school here, they did the Ben Franklin School over to apartments but now we have too many empty apartments," said Donald Kennedy of Carbondale.

The building has been a hospital since the 1920s. officials with the city of Carbondale said they have no short-term answers and that it will be empty for a while.

"We would hope that the health care need would be met, as opposed to lining our pockets, but if there's a health care firm out there that's for profit and has an interest we would absolutely entertain even an incentive to get them here," said Carbondale Mayor Justin Taylor.

He added since community hospitals all across the state have been failing it is possible that the Marian building will never be a hospital again.

People who have called it their community hospital for decades said they can't imagine it being anything else.

"It doesn't matter. It's whoever chooses it, but a hospital is more and more important in this town than anything," said Marilyn Walacavicz.

Marian Community Hospital is the last Catholic hospital left in Lackawanna County. It stopped admitting patients last week, the last day for employees is Tuesday.