Globe Project Progressing, County Plans To Be Moved In By 2019

September 28, 2018

SCRANTON — County officials remain optimistic that renovations to all six floors of the former Globe store on Wyoming Avenue will be “substantially complete” and ready to house government operations by Dec. 1.

Work to convert the downtown landmark that for 90 years served as the city’s principal retail hub into the consolidated home of Lackawanna County government began late last year. A  walkthrough today of the 255,000-square-foot structure proved the project is still a work in progress.

The building’s fourth floor, which will house the various offices and agencies comprising the county Department of Human Services, is the most complete thus far. New, painted sheet rock and carpeting stood below the original, ornamented tin ceiling that contractors were able to preserve.

Officials expect the building’s third and fourth floors to be completed and for county staff to move in there in November. The goal is for the remaining floors to be ready to accommodate employees by Dec. 1, and for the county to be moved in by Jan. 1, Commissioner Patrick O’Malley said.

“We’re two months away from basically dedicating the building complete,” O’Malley said before describing plans for a ground-floor “event room” that will include items documenting the history of the Globe store, the names of all past county commissioners and other elements. “It’s really coming together.”

The county authorized up to $17 million in borrowing for the project in October 2016, and was awarded a $1 million state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant for the project in December.

The Globe conversion was originally estimated to cost just under $17 million, but county Chief Financial Officer Tom Durkin said the county has accrued between roughly $800,000 and $1 million in additional project-related costs, including about $200,000 in permit fees that weren’t originally accounted for.

“In theory, because of the RACP (grant) from the state, we’re still on budget,” Durkin said, noting the county has spent about $12 million on the project not including the cost of work performed this month.

While highlighting the progress on the building’s second floor — where carpet or flooring had yet to be installed and where wires and pipes were visible in parts of the unfinished ceiling — officials said contractors will likely remain in the building for several months after the county moves in to finish some lesser elements of the project. Still, they expressed confidence the county will be moved into the Globe by Jan. 1.

“I’ve been working on construction sites for 25 years and this is progressing very well,” county Director of Buildings and Grounds Kevin Shaughnessy said. “We’re definitely on schedule.”

Contact the writer: jhorvath@timesshamrock.com; 570-348-9141; @jhorvathTT on Twitter

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