COOLBAUGH TOWNSHIP, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – An old, unused school in the Poconos sprung back to life Thursday. Once again the former Coolbaugh Elementary Center in Tobyhanna is serving students. But this time around you can find much more than that.
For years, the hallways sat empty. But now children are bringing the former Coolbaugh Elementary Center back to life. It’s now called The Mountain Center.
“It’s a very exciting day. We got the keys to this building about eight weeks ago,” smiles Tim Lee, Executive Director, Pocono Services for Families and Children.
Thursday about 150 Head Start students in the Pocono Mountain School District packed the building for their first day of school. But there’s more than just classes for low-income children happening there.
“Yeah, it’s a little crazy!” says Lee.
Down the hall Feeding Families Ministry is ready to serve thousands of local families from its classroom-turned-pantry.
“They’re always striving to talk to people, get donations, you know stuff like that. Reach out to the public and reach out to families like myself who are in need,” says Richard Passaretti Jr., who uses the pantry.
For years, the pantry operated out of a small, cramped room in Mount Pocono. But at its new location, Feeding Families has a giant room to store food in and another to distribute it to local families.
But there’s more. In the next few months several agencies are moving in to help the public. Women’s Resources, Agency on Aging, and Habitat for Humanity are some services you’ll find.
“Well I think it’s wonderful that people, low income families, now have one place to come,” says Diane McFadzean, founder, Feeding Families Ministry.
About 70 Sanofi Pasteur employees were also at The Mountain Center. They helped spruce up the building for the Day of Caring.