The Jarett Yoder Foundation purchases Marywood South

A ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned on the property for March 9 at 12:00 p.m.

Photo credit/ Manfid Duran

A ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned on the property for March 9 at 12:00 p.m.

Briana Ryan, Editor-in-Chief

After six years, Marywood South is off the market. The university has sold the former Scranton State School for the Deaf to the Jarett Yoder Foundation.

Gary and Diane Yoder established the Yoder Foundation as a tribute to their son Jarett, a member of the Pennsylvania National Guard who died in 2013 in an Apache Helicopter crash in Afghanistan.

“We always taught our children that no matter what goes bad, you take something bad and turn it into something positive,” said Yoder. “I decided that I see too many people in need who fall through the cracks when they’re waiting for assistance. So, that’s how we started [the foundation].”

The Yoder Foundation works in eight counties in Pennsylvania to provide services and resources to military members, veterans, first responders, firefighters, EMS and police officers.

According to university President Sr. Mary Persico, IHM, Ed.D, the sale of the property includes all nine buildings and 9.5 acres of land.

“One of the reasons that I’m excited for this sale is because these people are passionate about [their work],” said Persico. “This isn’t just a business deal for them.”

The university originally purchased the property on 1800 N. Washington Ave. in 2011 for $500,000. However, the university and the Yoder Foundation have agreed not to speak publicly about the property’s selling price.

Plans for the property, now known as the Heroes Resource Center, are currently underway. Yoder explained that space on the property will be open to any community organization looking for a place to assist community heroes.

The first organization to move onto the property will be Valhalla Veterans Services. Valhalla Veterans Services is an organization that offers free counseling services to veterans.

“We do not do counseling services. I’m more case management,” said Yoder. “I really like Valhalla, and they had approached me a while ago to see if we wanted to partner up.”

The property will also be a place for community heroes to learn new skills and take non-credit-bearing courses. Additionally, Yoder hopes to develop a bed-and-breakfast on the property.

“This is a rebirth and a renovation of a beautiful, historic building,” said Yoder. “People sometimes get nervous with change, but we want them to know that we are coming in to help the community.”

Persico explained that there are also plans for the center to offer educational opportunities for students.

“They want to really work with Marywood,” said Persico. “I know the counseling center is already working with Valhalla, and [the Yoder Foundation] wants to continue and expand student engagement [at the center].”

According to Persico, both parties have signed the contract, and closing on the property will take place on Tuesday, March 9. The 26-page contract includes a clause stating that the foundation can not do anything that would be contrary to Marywood or the Congregation of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) core values.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned on the property for March 9 at 12:00 p.m. Attendance for the ceremony is limited due to COVID-19 restrictions.

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Twitter: @BrianaRyanTWW