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Church to Move into Former Elementary School

FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, Pa. — Franklin Elementary School near Lehighton has sat vacant for more than a year. Soon, it will be turned into a church. “It&#...

FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Franklin Elementary School near Lehighton has sat vacant for more than a year. Soon, it will be turned into a church.

"It's good that it's going to be used for whatever purpose. We will see," said Dave Moulthrop, Franklin Township.

Bethany Wesleyan Church based in Northampton County bought the property for $415,000.

Casey Spencer will be the campus pastor.

Franklin Elementary School is the final of four elementary schools to be sold at auction by the Lehighton Area School District.

"About a month ago, we toured the Franklin Township Elementary School. We knew it was available through the school district for purchase and we made an offer and it was accepted last Monday officially by the school board," said Pastor Spencer.

Since last Easter, the church has been renting out a room at Lehighton Middle School, and the pastor tells Newswatch 16 he's been waiting for a permanent place.

"There is a lot of energy that goes into tearing down and setting up a church service every week and not having a permanent space available for things like children's ministry and youth programming, and so giving us a permanent place to land lets us do more programs for the community," said Spencer.

"It's alright with me. The only thing is that churches don't pay taxes and that is one thing that would help us if they sold it to someone that will help us out with our taxes," Dolores Moulthrop, Franklin Township.

Church officials say they are just waiting to close on the deal. Then remodeling will begin.