A Second Chance for Garrison Memorial School

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SHICKSHINNY -- After being vacant for three years, an old elementary school in Luzerne County will soon get a makeover.

Garrison Memorial School in Shickshinny closed down in 2009 after its student population dwindled down to just around 100 kids. A woman from Columbia County bought the building this weekend with plans to breathe new life into the former school.

Over the years, Garrison Memorial School was a staple in the Shickshinny community. Take Barry Noss for example. He's a Shickshinny councilman.

"I went to school there. My kid went to school there. My grandson went to school there, and my older brothers and sisters went to school there. It has a lot of memories in that building," said Councilman Noss.

Three years ago, student numbers got so low, the borough couldn't afford to keep the school open, so they closed it. Marylou Hines lives in the senior apartments next door and says the building hasn't been the same since.

"It was nice when the children were there because you always heard the noise from the children and it was very enjoyable to hear them. And it's a little lonely because they're not around anymore," said Maryloud Hines, of Shickshinny.

Now a comeback is in the making. This weekend, a woman from Columbia County purchased the building for a little more than $51,000 in a public auction.

The woman who bought this building hasn't said what she plans to do with it, except that it will be beneficial to the community. The people we spoke with in Shickshinny have a few different ideas about what should be done with this building.

"Like little novelty shops, like little jewelry stores or like a boutique or something like that," said Hines.

"I hope they put either some kind of business in there or some kind of recreation in there," said Noss.

Councilman Noss says he's sad to see it won't be a school anymore but he's happy the building won't be torn down. Shickshinny council hopes to learn what the plans are for old Garrison Memorial School by the end of the year.