SCRANTON — Lackawanna College in Scranton has plans to nearly double its campus space downtown.
And it’s possible with the purchase of a medical office building that’s been mostly empty for years.
A big “for sale” sign has hung on the big building on Adams Avenue and Mulberry Street in Scranton for several weeks. It is about to become a big undertaking for Lackawanna College.
College President Mark Volk had no intentions of expanding the college’s campus. But, the big office building outside his office window on nearby Vine Street was too good to pass up.
Lackawanna College is buying the office complex and will soon start $15 million worth of improvements. Administrative offices, a cafeteria, culinary school, and college-run clinic will move there.
“Right now, you’re taking a building that’s pretty much sat empty and really had no active use and putting it to tremendously good use,” President Volk said.
Meaning an increase in foot traffic a block closer to Courthouse Square and its businesses.
“Lackawanna College, we have a lot of students and faculty who are customers already, to have it right here caddy corner from us that’s fantastic. Just to see that space used in such a nice way that’s going to be really wonderful,” said Christian Pilosi, owner of Eden: A Vegan Café on Adams Avenue.
The second floor of the back building on the lot will be Lackawanna College’s new cafeteria, the first floor will be the new culinary school.
Between the buildings will be a green space for students. Something students say is desperately needed now.
“That will be totally great, the cafeteria is up on the third floor it’s kind of hidden. If we can have a more centralized location I think that will be more convenient,” said student Kristina Addara.
Changes at the building on Adams Avenue won’t begin until the two dental offices inside move out. But, a clinic that will be run by the college will move in. Lackawanna College officials say they will announce the details of the clinic soon.