Mountain Center Open for Business in Tobyhanna

COOLBAUGH TOWNSHIP -- What was once the Coolbaugh Elementary Center has now been transformed into a resource center.

"It's wonderful to be part of a place where you are wanted and where you can really provide a service to people,” said Diane McFadzean, Feeding Families Ministry President.

Feeding Families Ministry just cut the ribbon to its new location inside the Mountain Center.

The charity moved to Tobyhanna after getting forced out of its place in Mount Pocono a few months ago.

“I have put my volunteers through such torturous conditions so it's just a blessing to know that you have friends and people who want to serve that will go into the war with you. It's nice that we can sit here now and be comfortable,” said McFadzean.

At the other side of the Mountain Center, it was the first day of school. More than 100 Head Start students took their seats inside these classrooms.

“My teachers and all of our staff have worked endless hours to get this program up and running. We are a top notch program, we are accredited and I think it's going to be wonderful for this community and I couldn't be happier,” said Autumn Melton, Education Coordinator.

Even though the food pantry and the Head Start sections are complete, there is still plenty of work to do. Several volunteers have been on hand getting areas ready for the other organizations that plan to call this building home.

"Area on the Aging will have a day center here. Habitat for Humanity, WIC, Pocono Alliance, Women's Resources, Red Cross,” said Tim Lee, Pocono Services for Family and Children Director.

Tim Lee runs the non-profit that the bought the old elementary school and turned into the Mountain Center.

He's been working to bring a resource center like this one to the area for the past two years.

“It really became a, we want to build our house where the greatest need happens to be. So a lot of this just unfolded as we've gone along,” said Lee.

Other organizations plan to move into the Mountain Center over the next few years.