CARBONDALE, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) – A historic building in Lackawanna County is undergoing a transformation to house women overcoming alcohol and drug addiction.
It is the former Saint Rose Parish convent. The building used to house nuns who worked in the attached schoolhouse. Now, it will be opening as a halfway house for women.
The building was built in the 1950s, and will soon be called White Birch Terrace. The facility’s executive director, Thomas Lavelle, says it will have plenty to offer.
“There’s big community bathrooms, there is a couple of private bathrooms. There’s office space for professional counselors. There’s big community rooms, like we are standing in now, where they can congregate, watch TV, socialize,” said Lavelle.
Lavelle tells Eyewitness News the building was purchased in November and renovations started in December. There is a full size kitchen on the ground floor which overlooks the former school. Upstairs, the building will be able to offer nearly 25 beds when all finished.
Lavelle says the whole building is up to 10,000 square feet and he can’t wait to finish it up to put it to good use.
“And it’s picture perfect for what we use it for, for a halfway house. They have their own bedrooms, their own privacy.”
When Lavelle was looking to purchase the building, he knew the renovations would require minimal work due to it’s up-to-par previous condition.
“Most of it here is cosmetic, there’s paint chipping off, we are peeling it back. We are spackling, and we are painting and it’s coming along very well.”
Future plans are to turn the old schoolhouse into more group rooms and potentially even an exercise room to take advantage of the open space.
Lavelle tells us he looks forward to opening the halfway house this May or June.