SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – After roughly three years of searching, Luzerne County Community College has found a location for its newest satellite campus in Lackawanna County.
Late Wednesday afternoon, administrators laid out their vision for the new Scranton Center which will be located inside the Mall at Steamtown.
Luzerne County Community College, which is based in Nanticoke, has chosen the second-level of the mall. It will occupy about 15,000-square feet.
In just a few months, students will be able to start learning at the Mall at Steamtown. At least 14 different degree programs will be offered.
Luzerne County Community College will take over the second floor of the former Bon-Ton department store.
“Today, Luzerne County Community College becomes the community college of northeastern Pennsylvania,” LCCC president Thomas Leary said.
After looking at more than 30 different sites in the Scranton-area, Luzerne County Community College says the Mall at Steamtown offered what it needed in terms of parking, safety, security and space.
For the city itself, Mayor Bill Courtright hopes this announcement proves the once-struggling mall is on the rebound thanks to its new owner John Basalyga. Basalyga attended Wednesday’s press conference but didn’t speak.
“As soon as John bought the mall people were saying to me, how can it be successful?” Mayor Bill Courtright said. “I said it’s because this man (John Basalyga) is driven!”
School administrators expect 400 to 500 students will attend classes at the new Scranton Center.
They also hope to offer early college programs here for high school juniors and seniors who are looking for early college credit.
“They definitely provided some new pathways for the local school districts and I think they turned some heads today which is great for our region,” Paul Brennan, superintendent of the Riverside School District said.
Degrees in business administration, accounting, psychology, criminal justice and more will now be offered by LCCC in Scranton.
Luzerne County Community College doesn’t see itself as competition for some of the other colleges in Lackawanna County but more as a partner.
“We want to really collaborate and work with those four-year colleges and many of our students will transfer to those colleges and complete their bachelor’s degree,” Leary said.
Classes are expected to begin in Scranton for the fall semester on August 29th.
Tuition will be $240 a credit for Lackawanna County residents which comes out to about $9,000 a year for a full-time student.