Emergency Repairs at Scranton Cultural Center to Fix Rain Runoff

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SCRANTON, Pa. -- An iconic building in downtown Scranton is undergoing some emergency repairs.

Renovations to the Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple began last fall. They are continuing and should be finished this spring and will not impact any events.

On many days, 180,000 square feet of space that doesn't seem like it's big enough, but on other days seems like it's an awful lot to take care of.

Along the walls of the theater at the Scranton Cultural Center, paint is chipping away due to water leaks from the outside.

"The building is composed of limestone block that is mortared together, cemented. That cement has failed over 80-plus years," said John Cardoni, general manager and technical director.

The building on North Washington Avenue in downtown Scranton opened in 1930 but was renovated in the early 2000s, thanks to money secured by Governor Robert Casey.

About a year and a half ago, the people who run the cultural center decided that it was once again time for renovations.

"We knew that was going to be of a temporary nature, and some of the approaches that were used have failed in the intervening 16 years," Cardoni explained.

Renovations are on hold this week because of "Beautiful: The Carole King Musical" that's playing in the theater. Officials say no weddings or events will be impacted during the renovation process.

"Complicated juggling act all the time, but we love what we do, so here we are," Cardoni said.

These temporary renovations started last fall, but are continuing now and should be finished this spring. The repairs are happening on the exterior of the building to block water from leaking in. The center is using $180,000 in state gaming money to pay for the emergency repairs.

"At some point down the road, we will actually need to take apart the entire building, repoint it all, rehang the stone, and replace all the roof and gutter systems, but that's a little bit away yet," Cardoni added.

The Carole King Musical starts its run at the Scranton Cultural Center Tuesday and goes through the weekend. Renovations will pick back up after that.

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