Luzerne County Community College unveils Pittston campus

By Jimmy Fisher - [email protected]
Mayor Michael Lombardo thanked officials for fulfilling his 20-year dream by bringing a satellite campus of Luzerne County Community College to Pittston. - Tony Callaio | For Times Leader
Pittston Mayor Michael Lombardo, left, unveils a sculpture entitled ‘Pathmarker’ in front of the new Luzerne County Community College M&T Educational Center satellite campus Thursday. To the right is Carmen F. Magistro, a vice president with M&T Bank; state Sen. John Yudichak; state Rep. Michael Carroll; and LCCC President Thomas P. Leary. The sculpture was relocated from the city’s River Park. - Tony Callaio | For Times Leader
This is one of 10 classrooms at the new LCCC satellite campus in downtown Pittston. - Tony Callaio | For Times Leader
Luzerne County Community College President Thomas P. Leary thanks Pittston officials, M&T Bank as well as state officials for making the downtown Pittston campus a reality on Thursday during a grand opening ceremony. Classes will start Aug. 27. - - Tony Callaio | For Times Leader

PITTSTON — Mayor Michael Lombardo had a dream 20 years ago about bringing a college campus to the city’s Main Street. 

On Thursday, his dream came true as Pittston and Luzerne County Community college held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the M&T Bank Educational Campus.

“I realize it’s been a lot of hard work,” Lombardo said. “I might have thought of the idea, but it didn’t become a reality without a lot of hard work from (former Pittston City) Mayor (Jason) Klush, by the administration, but it’s awesome to be here.”

Speaking at the ceremony were Lombardo, Thomas Leary, LCCC president; Brian Gill, LCCC Board of Trustees chair; Carmen Magistro, a vice president with M&T Bank; state Sen. John Yudichak and Rep. Mike Caroll.

Magistro, who is a 1998 LCCC alumnus, once served on the school’s board of trustees and is seeing his two worlds collide.

“I’m honored, to be honest with you,” he said of being a part of the Pittston venture. “Specifically, because I’ve always been an advocate for Luzerne County Community College. I graduated from Luzerne County Community College prior to getting my four-year degree and graduate degree. I asked to be on the board of trustees due to my advocacy for the school. I wanted the school to grow.”

The 12,000 square-foot campus is at 13 S. Main St., the site of the former M&T Bank building that became vacant in 2013.

The renovations cost $2 million with funds obtained through the city’s Redevelopment Authority.

M&T Bank donated the building to the city for $1 in exchange for a $374,000 tax credit through the city’s Neighborhood Assistance Program. The city then leased it to LCCC for 15 years with option periods after that.

Leary, who was the vice president of student development 20 years ago when the idea of bringing LCCC to Pittston was first discussed, said it’s another great opportunity for the college.

“We now are right in the midst of what they’re doing in the city,” he said. “They’re emphasizing arts, culture and a synergy with opportunity in the city. You walk down Main Street, and it’s a model for a city. We’re now part of that renaissance, and the impact of the college will be greater as time goes on.”

The building holds 10 classrooms and can fit up to around 400 to 500 students, Leary said.

Classes start Monday, Aug. 27, and Leary said he’ll be there.

“I have to be at so many places but I have to be here that first day,” he said. “I love to watch people come through the doors for the first time. I think people are going to be very happy with what they see.”

Mayor Michael Lombardo thanked officials for fulfilling his 20-year dream by bringing a satellite campus of Luzerne County Community College to Pittston.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/web1_LCCC3.cmyk_.jpgMayor Michael Lombardo thanked officials for fulfilling his 20-year dream by bringing a satellite campus of Luzerne County Community College to Pittston. Tony Callaio | For Times Leader

Pittston Mayor Michael Lombardo, left, unveils a sculpture entitled ‘Pathmarker’ in front of the new Luzerne County Community College M&T Educational Center satellite campus Thursday. To the right is Carmen F. Magistro, a vice president with M&T Bank; state Sen. John Yudichak; state Rep. Michael Carroll; and LCCC President Thomas P. Leary. The sculpture was relocated from the city’s River Park.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/web1_LCCC4.cmyk_.jpgPittston Mayor Michael Lombardo, left, unveils a sculpture entitled ‘Pathmarker’ in front of the new Luzerne County Community College M&T Educational Center satellite campus Thursday. To the right is Carmen F. Magistro, a vice president with M&T Bank; state Sen. John Yudichak; state Rep. Michael Carroll; and LCCC President Thomas P. Leary. The sculpture was relocated from the city’s River Park. Tony Callaio | For Times Leader

This is one of 10 classrooms at the new LCCC satellite campus in downtown Pittston.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/web1_LCCC5.cmyk_.jpgThis is one of 10 classrooms at the new LCCC satellite campus in downtown Pittston. Tony Callaio | For Times Leader

Luzerne County Community College President Thomas P. Leary thanks Pittston officials, M&T Bank as well as state officials for making the downtown Pittston campus a reality on Thursday during a grand opening ceremony. Classes will start Aug. 27.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/web1_LCCC-Pittston-Opening-1.cmyk_.jpgLuzerne County Community College President Thomas P. Leary thanks Pittston officials, M&T Bank as well as state officials for making the downtown Pittston campus a reality on Thursday during a grand opening ceremony. Classes will start Aug. 27. Tony Callaio | For Times Leader
Classes will start Aug. 27

By Jimmy Fisher

[email protected]

LCCC gets state grant

for Scranton campus

Luzerne County Community College was awarded $149,948 in grant money from the state Department of Education on Thursday. The money will go toward leasing space for the Scranton Extension Center in the Marketplace at Steamtown.

LCCC opened the center in August 2016, creating a 13-classroom area in what had been the Bon-Ton Department Store.

The money is part of more than $3 million awarded to eight community colleges. The grants were awarded with the intent of providing 50 percent of the annual capital expense of each project.

The biggest grant was $680,000 to Community College of Philadelphia for an expansion of its West Regional Center. That project is estimated at a total cost of $20 million. By comparison, the LCCC Scranton project has a total project cost of $4 million.

The LCCC grant was the smallest among the eight colleges.

Reach Jimmy Fisher at 570-704-3972 or on Twitter @SD_JimmyFisher

Reach Jimmy Fisher at 570-704-3972 or on Twitter @SD_JimmyFisher