Posted by on July 22, 2020 5:11 pm

Categories: Canary Reader Survey

downtown-pottsville-giant prison center

Many have already weighed in on the proposed Schuylkill County pre-release prison at the site of the former GIANT in downtown Pottsville.

So, we wanted to get a semi-accurate assessment of the public opinion on this and created another reader survey.

Tell us what you think of this idea.

Schuylkill County reportedly had the 2.1-acre property assessed after GIANT closed up shop on July 9. The county has long wanted to build a pre-release prison to ease chronic overcrowding at the historic prison behind the Courthouse.

But many seem opposed to the idea of putting this facility in the downtown Pottsville area.

On Wednesday, July 22, Pottsville city officials expressed their concerns with Schuylkill Commissioners.

Now is the time to tell us what you think.

Take a second to answer our poll question below. We’ll report on the results this weekend.

Thoughts on the Proposed Pre-Release Prison in Pottsville?

This poll has been finished and no longer available to vote !



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13 responses to READER POLL: What Do You Think of the Proposed Pre-Release Prison at the Former GIANT in Pottsville?

  1. Karen July 25th, 2020 at 6:44 am

    So sad, so very, very, sad. People just can’t leave GOOD alone, The employees displaced, people who don’t drive and have to walk for food, disrupting people’s lives—for what—WHY??? Another “MOM and POP” store gone, GIANTS was a great place to shop and YOU ruined it, WELL SHAME ON YOU! Just remember God sees and hears, your verdict awaits.


  2. Anon E. Mouse July 27th, 2020 at 2:46 am

    Why isn’t the City participating with Giant in looking for a new tenant? Because they think Giant Markets just one day fell out of the sky & landed in Pottsville. Think again. Maybe the City had a hand in getting Giant Markets there in the first place. Maybe the City even financed part of the project thru a grant. Maybe the City doesn’t realize they’re a partner there and maybe they actually have a say in what happens. Maybe somebody needs to do they’re homework first. Just sayin.


    • Canary Commenter July 27th, 2020 at 8:12 am

      It’s not really up to GIANT who goes there. We erred, as many did, in saying they owned the property. They actually leased it from another company that’s not located in Pottsville. Pottsville is actively trying to find someone else to invest in that property but the County could swoop in and purchase it.


      • Anon E. Mouse July 27th, 2020 at 10:22 am

        Why the push back? Having a building this large utilized is much better than having it vacant, especially when it’s on the fringe of the Downtown, which is a completely separate issue. Consider, the boundaries of “downtown” are more or less the same as they were 60 years ago, yet the population has decreased significantly.


        • Canary Commenter July 27th, 2020 at 11:04 am

          Why the push back? Maybe people don’t want a prison downtown, for starters. If you check some of our previous coverage of this issue, you’ll see how much the city and county stand to lose in tax revenue from losing a valuable property from the tax rolls.


        • Anon E. Mouse July 27th, 2020 at 1:15 pm

          Is the problem the prison being on the fringe of downtown or loss of tax revenue. I don’t understand how the former even makes sense. The current prison might be closer to downtown than the Giant; at worst there’s no difference.
          If it’s tax revenue, let’s get creative. Do what Giant did, have a private enterprise purchase & lease back to county. It’s not that hard!!! Why the hell does the county want to own real estate?
          Are there any other suitors for the building, is anyone else actively marketing it, where’s PADCO at in this process. It’s not part of the Historical District so there’s no red tape there to jump thru.


          • Canary Commenter July 27th, 2020 at 1:35 pm

            The county owns more property in Pottsville than you can ever dream of owning. Usually they just offer Fair Market Value (well above its real value) to one of their friends (look at the Children & Youth building). It’s a total Welfare State. Government needs to stop buying property, especially potentially high-value property. The whole idea stinks.


          • Anon E. Mouse July 27th, 2020 at 3:07 pm

            I didn’t want to go there but you hit the nail on the head. Instead of buying the properties they should just lease – 2 benefits: no maintenance on their part, and tax revenue for all taxing authorities still intact.


          • Canary Commenter July 27th, 2020 at 5:27 pm

            No, they should stay the hell out of the property game. Don’t mistake what we said as meaning the county should do anything with the property.


          • Anon E. Mouse July 29th, 2020 at 4:24 pm

            Expansion of the YMCA is a good idea. Does the YMCA Board still have money left from the original YMCA on Market St. I don’t know if that money was utilized by the current YMCA. I know that Atty. Nichols was previously the caretaker of those funds and if still available, that would be a tremendous boost!


          • Cynthia July 29th, 2020 at 5:03 pm

            I followed the road alongside the Giant and it ends at Barefield park. That’s perfect!
            I think we should push for general town COMMUNITY CENTER that other places like the Y can lease space. Also there are industrial food facilities on site from the bakery and deli of Giant. These could be a healthy food take out (Vegetarian/Vegan–we’ve got none in town and that’s the upcoming food trend–also we have an obesity issue here and most of the restaurant choices aren’t healthy) There could also be a smoothie/juice bar. We tell kids to eat healthy then don’t give them the means to do it. The food services could be partially staffed by STC interns–low cost but not exploitative labor and they get school credit and experience. Bulk orders delivery or a take out cart could be taken to the courthouse every day to make money for the community center. A community center could be the heart of revitalization


    • Cynthia July 29th, 2020 at 12:51 pm

      I propose a community center or expansion of the YMCA (which is located in the old armory and not a great facility for it’s classes) The Giant is already ADA compliant, internet ready, and the open floor plan is perfect for classes, workshops, and proper community meeting room for local clubs There is plenty of free parking. The part of the street that was flooded out could be a public green space. When parents drop off their kids for classes there’s not enough time to go on a long errand, but you could go to the post office, shop at CVS, dollar general, grab a quick bite at several food places within walking distance. Also the community center would be walking distance for the kids who need something to do. Teenagers could walk there themselves and with the police station nearby, it would be easy to patrol an make sure that kids are staying away from bad influences that put them in the over crowded prison system. It’s solving the problem upstream AND revitalizing downtown. Even if it’s county owned, you generate revenue by renting out the space for events and workshops. It gives people a reason to go downtown instead of avoid it.


    • Cynthia July 29th, 2020 at 12:57 pm

      The Giant also already had onsite cooking facilities for a bakery and deli. In tandem with a community center, there is enough space for a mini to go restaurant with HEALTHY eating options–like veggie bowls and salads. healthy vegetarian/vegan options in this area are scarce but it’s the upcoming market. There’s enough room for a smoothie, juice bar too. If this facility is for kids, families, and the general community, an on site healthy food option would make money and could do bulk lunch delivery to the Courthouse and City hall. We also have an obesity problem in this county.


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