Residents Concerned Over Location of New Carbon County Building

JIM THORPE, Pa. -- There are a lot of beautiful buildings in Jim Thorpe. Inside St. Mark and John Episcopal Church on Race Street, you'll find stained glass windows and handcrafted sculptures more than 100 years old.

"This was made by Tiffany. This was carved out by Italian sculptures. Our building is an Upjohn. Richard Upjohn, he was like the father of architecture," said Mary Shorten, St. Mark and John Episcopal Church.

Shorten is the church caretaker and fears the beauty of this church is in danger. The county plans to build a new office building with an employee parking garage on Susquehanna Street. To do so, contractors will need to cut into the mountain, a mountain that is actually part of the church's foundation.

"It's going to cause vibration. The windows are old, the foundation is old, and the molding that holds everything together is old, and I just don't know how much the building can withstand," said Shorten.

County Commissioner Wayne Nothstein says this location was the best option.

"We've been going around and around with trying to purchase or lease buildings for the last two or three years before this project started and we were getting nowhere," said Carbon County Commissioner Wayne Nothstein.

Nothstein says there will be a few different precautions put into place before, during, and after the project. Nothstein says vibration sensors will be used to monitor drilling.

"We are not hiding anything, and we keep reassuring them we know we have stained Tiffany glass. Things are irreplaceable. We know that. We are doing our best to eliminate their concerns," said Commissioner Nothstein.

Officials say there is no set date on when construction will begin because permits are still being finalized.

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