Scranton Counseling Center moves from downtown to South Side

As seen in The Times-Tribune on April 8, 2021 by Jim Lockwood

SCRANTON — A former factory in South Side that churned out millions of buttons daily over a century ago and later became a Capitol Records plant is the new home of the Scranton Counseling Center.

The nonprofit center held a ribbon-cutting Thursday for its new $15 million campus at Cedar Avenue and Cherry Street.

The center moved from its prior home of over four decades — two unconnected buildings in the 300 block of Adams Avenue downtown — to three totally renovated, connected former factory buildings in South Side.

“It’s going to change the whole neighborhood,” SCC board Chairman Phil Condron said. “This whole neighborhood is going to be revitalized.”

Meanwhile, project developer Charles Jefferson next will take over SCC’s former two buildings on Adams Avenue and convert those into other uses, possibly street-level retail with residences on upper floors.

The counseling center’s new location adds as tenants a primary health care clinic, the Wright Center for Community Health, and a pharmacy, the Prescription Center, for one-stop services for patients who often require primary care and medication.

“To have them now be able to spread out, be in the community in South Scranton, add that pharmacy, add the primary care, they’re just going to be more and more successful in helping keep our community healthy,” Scranton Mayor Paige Gebhardt Cognetti said of SCC. “It’s a win for the downtown, it’s a win for South Scranton in terms of our neighborhoods, and it’s a win for our community in terms of behavioral health” services.

A provider of comprehensive behavioral health services in Lackawanna and surrounding counties since 1947, SCC is the largest community-based, behavioral nonprofit provider in the area, serving individuals with both mental health and substance abuse issues, said the center’s former 21-year president and CEO, Edward Heffron, Ed.D., who retired March 31.

The relocation dates to 2014, when SCC considered renovating its well-worn and cramped Adams Avenue facility, which was a former Sears store that SCC occupied since around 1976, officials said.

Jefferson “suggested a radical new approach — development and relocation of the entire center to a new, modern, state-of-the-art facility with easy consumer access and parking,” Heffron said.

They assembled a $4 million state grant and $7 million in tax credits and other money sources.

Jefferson expressed pride in the project.

“Some projects are more rewarding than others to complete,” Jefferson said. “This campus renovation is a shining example of improving the needs of the marginalized individuals in our community, preserving and modernizing a historic building, revitalizing this section of South Scranton and connecting a wide and diverse stream of funding to make it happen — in a single focus.”

The Scranton Button Co. gained international recognition for processes and machinery and in the early 20th century produced over 3 million buttons a day and employed more than 800 people, Heffron said.

By the late 1920s, the company evolved into a phonograph record manufacturer. By the mid-1940s, Capitol Records pressed most of its albums in Scranton, he said. In the 1960s, Capitol turned out Beatles records.

Another local developer, John Basalyga, said the revamp of the button factory spurred his interest in that block. Last summer, Basalyga bought several buildings in the block, including the massive Astro Apparel warehouse at Cedar Avenue and Brook Street and extending behind the parking lot of the new SCC, and a casket company building that fronts on Cherry Street. His plans are undetermined but may involve creating apartments.

Related Posts


Post a comment

Your email address will not be published