Plan to Put Apartments in Old School

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MOSCOW -- A school in Lackawanna County that has sat empty for the past two years may soon be getting a new use.

The new owner of the old elementary school in Moscow wants to turn the building into apartments, but folks in the neighborhood aren't so sure it's a good idea.

There are no more desks in the classrooms, or lockers in the hallways of the Academy Street School in Moscow. It stopped being an elementary school two years ago, and now the new owner wants to turn the building into apartments.

It's only a plan, but the owner did convince borough leaders to change the zoning for the school to make way for apartments.

“Empty buildings like that, it's just looking for trouble. Vandals, so far, I haven't heard or seen anything over there,” said Linda Hapersberger of Moscow.

Some neighbors said they'd rather see anything in the Academy Street School than have it stay empty. Many people in that area of Moscow have attended borough meetings about the plan.

“At first we were probably a little upset about it. Now that we know apartments are going to go in there, and the development is going to look really good. We're excited about it,” said Tracy Theobald of Moscow.

If the plan goes through it would be part of a trend in Moscow.

Another developer is turning an old train station on Main Street into apartments.

They are being billed as luxury apartments.

People on Academy Street said they haven't been told what the apartments will be like.

Folks in neighborhood are split on whether or not they support the decision to turn the school into apartments. Some neighbors we spoke to, but didn't want to go on camera said it depends what kind of apartments go in here.

We weren't able to contact the building's owner, Mark Paradise, for comment, but borough officials said the plan is to put about 20 apartments there. It could be at least a year before construction starts.