Will you support independent, non-partisan journalism?
Become a champion of local news and unlock additional benefits as a LebTown member, like exclusive members-only emails, access to comments, invitations to members-only events, and more.
Make an impact. Cancel anytime.
Already a member? Login here
Highly-touted redevelopment projects at a pair of closed Lebanon school buildings are still in their early stages and slowly moving forward, according to their owners.
Former Lebanon Catholic property awaiting resolution of zoning issues
In May 2022, Destiny Builders and Management of Columbia, Lancaster County, bought the former Lebanon Catholic High School and the 13.9 acres it sits on from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg.
The diocese had closed the school at 1400 Chestnut St. in April 2020 and allowed it to sit, empty and unsecured, until the sale to Destiny.
Destiny wants to build over 300 residential units on the property, and had initially planned on reusing the old school building’s administrative offices and gymnasium.
Plans for the building suffered a setback on July 3, 2022, when an arson fire seriously damaged the structure.
In addition to fire-related setbacks, Destiny representative Raul Patel told LebTown on Dec. 6 that there are still unresolved zoning issues that need to be worked out with the city, centering on whether interior driveways and parking lots are “streets” as defined in the city’s zoning ordinance.
“Right now, there’s not much to talk about,” he said. “We hope to get [the zoning issues] approved next year and move forward with construction. They’ll get resolved. We’re going through the proper channels, but until then, there’s nothing to update.”
Asbestos removal complete at old Northwest Elementary
The Lebanon School District closed the 42-year-old school at 9th & Maple streets in 2018 and sold the building and grounds to Lancaster-based Quartz Creek Holdings, LLC.
Quartz Creek announced plans to convert the property into commercial office, medical, and professional space, plus build an underground parking lot and a two-story above-ground parking garage.
The sale was briefly held up while Quartz Creek, the school district, and the City of Lebanon wrangled over who was responsible for removing a pedestrian bridge over 10th Street, which had been used by students.
Like many buildings constructed before 1980, the school was full of asbestos, and Quartz Creek’s Aaron Camara told LebTown last week that removal has been completed, clearing the way for the project to move forward.
“We just completed asbestos abatement. We had to get that done before we could work in it safely,” Camara said.
“Other than that, we have potential tenants who are waiting for us to finish renovating the interior. Our goal is to have tenants in place in the 3rd quarter of ’23 or the 1st quarter of ’24.”
But, Camara cautioned that “the way the economy is, the way the markets are, it’s very fluid.”
Do you want to see more from LebTown?
Free news isn’t cheap. If you value the journalism LebTown provides to the community, then help us make it sustainable by becoming a champion of local news.
You can unlock additional coverage for the community by supporting our work with a one-time contribution, or joining as a monthly or annual member. You can cancel anytime.
Questions about this story? Suggestions for a future LebTown article? Reach our newsroom using the contact form below and we’ll do our best to get back to you.