Scranton School District Considers New School

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SCRANTON -- The Scranton School District has been plagued with a mold problem at two elementary schools in the city's Hill Section.

In response, the school board made a move to possibly build a new school for all of those elementary students.

The Serrenti Memorial Army Reserve Center on Colfax Avenue has only sat empty for a few months, but now the Scranton School District has taken the first steps toward possibly buying the spot for a new Hill Section school.

The elementary schools in that part of the city have been plagued with a mold problem. Officials decided earlier this year to permanently close the John J. Audubon School on Mulberry Street because of mold.

Administrators also said Prescott Elementary has low levels of mold. They are still deciding whether to temporarily move students from that building.

Some school board members said the old armory is the obvious solution. 

The board voted to request to buy the property from the federal government. If the purchase goes through, students from Audubon and Prescott could go there.

Not all members of the Scranton School Board support the decision to buy the property. Director Kathleen McGuigan said there are too many unknowns. For example, if the district builds a new school on the property, they might not be reimbursed by the state.

The sale of the property still needs to be approved, and school officials said there are other interested buyers. 

School board members said they haven't made any official decision to consolidate John J. Audubon School and Prescott Elementary.