Students Renovating Run-down Building

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

WILLIAMSPORT -- Renovations are underway on a property in Williamsport that has been an eyesore for years.

The people doing the renovations are not exactly your typical contractors.

The run-down building was one of the properties targeted by the city's codes department.

The owner faced costly fines or he could sell. He sold and a group of college students bought the place on First Avenue in order to learn and make the building livable again.

For the first time in a very long time, there are improvements being made to a run-down building on First Avenue in Williamsport.

Nathan scott, Alex Eckerd and Michael Leventhal are sophomores at Penn College, studying Building Construction Technology, and they are the property's new owners.

"When we took our walk-through, we were going wow to all the renovations we have to do," said Scott.

"The smell in there with the squirrels, crap everywhere, had a couple of cats living in it too, you know what smell in litterbox is," added Eckerd.

Half the place has new windows and there is a lot more work left to do.

Not only do the students get to learn first-hand what it is like to renovate a run-down building like this, their hard work should end up improving the quality of life in this neighborhood.

"Great to see young college students taking the initiative and taking their classwork into the community," said Mayor Gabe Campana.

The property on First Avenue was vacant and neglected by its owner for more than 10 years, according to city leaders. Now its new owners, college kids, are putting their skills to use and will remove any sign the place was neglected when they create three apartments in the coming months.

"It'll be nice knowing people can live in here again, we had notices on the door that this place is uninhabitable when we found it. Just seeing people move in will definitely be a reward," said Leventhal.

Those up-and-coming contractors hope to finish renovations by March and put the building up for sale.

Their parents fronted them the money with the idea that the experience their sons will get is a good return on their investment.