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Barrett Township acquires school to create community hub

Newswatch 16's Amanda Eustice shows us the plans for the building in Monroe County.

MOUNTAINHOME, Pa. — While it doesn't look like it now, the former Barrett Elementary Center near Mountainhome will soon be the center hub for the community.

Barrett Township officials closed on the property a few days ago. The goal is to turn it into the Barrett Administrative and Recreation Complex.

"It will house our administrative offices, as well as other human-service-related businesses, were hoping," said Barrett Township Supervisor Pamela Gardsy. "We do have some interested parties that provide services to the community and are hoping to expand their programs. So, we do have a gymnasium for youth sports, cafeteria facilities, hoping to outfit our kitchen to serve people within this building and outside agencies."

Gardsy says other plans include creating an emergency shelter and housing a food pantry and community shed.

State Representative Rosemary Brown, (R) 189th District, toured the property on Thursday. She's hoping to use her upcoming role as a state senator to help the township secure funds to help renovate the building.

"Barrett's a gem up here in the Pocono community, up this way, and so when you put things under one roof, of course, that makes it so much easier. Especially on a social service level, but then also on involvement on where you go for events," Rep. Brown said.

Now that the township owns the building, they have a lot of work to get it up and running, and it's not going to be cheap.

"The heating system alone is probably $500,000 to $600,000. About probably $20,000 worth of glass. Septic and water were still getting numbers, you know, probably $10,000 ballpark," Gardsy added.

The place was hit by vandals a few weeks ago.

The first offices to move in after renovations will be the Barrett Township administrative offices.

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