SCRANTON, Pa. — The former Scranton School for the Deaf along North Washington Avenue is seeing more activity this week than it has in years. Its new owners are setting up for a groundbreaking ceremony.
It will become the Patriot Resource Center at Marywood run by the Jarett Yoder Foundation.
The organization is named for a Pennsylvania National Guard soldier killed in Afghanistan. Diane Yoder is his mother.
"Basically, this is for the community of heroes and for the regular community around here. They're going to help guide us in what they want, but we envision that we're going to have a community resource center here where they can come and get housing assistance, financial assistance, they can get counseling through Valhalla," Yoder said.
Yoder purchased the deaf school campus from Marywood University after it's been on the market for more than five years.
The former Scranton School for the Deaf has been here for more than 100 years, and the new owners plan to keep that historical significance in mind.
The resource center plans to use each one of the buildings for therapies and classes for veterans and first responders, housing for national guardsmen and reservists, and bed and breakfast inside the former superintendent's building.
"Since President Biden is from this area, we want to honor him, his son Beau, who was a veteran, and name one of the rooms over there after his son as a thank you for his service."
The property will also become home to a memorial honoring soldiers killed in combat and their gold star families.
Artist Stephen Colley started working on a sculpture four years ago. With the purchase of the deaf school property, his project found a home.
"For the last 30 years, on and off I've been working at Marywood, driving by this for years, and it's just funny that this will be the property where we'll finally install this sculpture, so it's been a labor of love for a lot of different people. We got together, and we tried to find a spot, went through a lot of different places. Finally, this is what we've come up with," Colley said.
The Jarett Yoder Foundation plans to break ground this week, and then the long process of renovating the former deaf school begins.