Last updated: May 15. 2014 11:50PM -
By - mguydish@timesleader.com

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PITTSTON — So you live in Pittston and keep thinking, “The Tomato Festival is great, Main Street looks better, but this place really could use a college.”

Well, now’s your chance to make it happen.

Go to the city website, fill out an online survey and convince Luzerne County Community College there’s enough interest to justify setting up a satellite campus.

“We are interested in having a community college or a satellite campus on Main Street,” Pittston Main Street Manager attorney Rose Randazzo said. “We feel we are a college town without a college.”

Randazzo said the city and LCCC have had discussions in the past about the college coming to Pittston, but “it is taking a more aggressive turn” thanks to a decision by LCCC to conduct the survey, accessible through a link on the city website homepage, pittstoncity.org.

The 18-question survey, which asks for optional contact information but promises responses will be kept anonymous, seeks general information about family size and income, as well as specific queries about interest in college, fields one would like to study and how a student would get to an LCCC site if one were put in the city.

In a written statement, LCCC spokeswoman Lisa Nelson confirmed the college is “gathering information to determine the feasibility of opening a college site in Pittston” and the survey is intended “to identify their educational needs.”

Randazzo said city officials “are confident their feasibility study will come back positive.” The city has done its own research and believes a college would succeed downtown.

City Administrator Joseph Moskovitz echoed that confidence. “The key to Pittston is that we are between Scranton and Wilkes-Barre. We feel we offer ample opportunity for businesses,” he said.

Randazzo said LCCC is the obvious choice but that the city would welcome any college interested in setting up shop. She said the city has one or two locations that are suitable for either renovation of an existing building or construction of a new one.

“At this point our downtown is ready for a college,” she said. “Maybe it wasn’t ready for it five years ago, but it is now.”

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