A fitness center, coffeehouse, bookstore and professional offices.
Those elements have existed before in Hazleton, but Ken and Scott Gottstein and Michael Barata are combining them in a new way at the former Hazle Twp. High School, styled like a Roman temple, at 14th and North Church streets.
“Mind, body, soul,” is how Barata described the offerings at the former school that Gottstein Realty Co. is spending $1 million to overhaul into Elevate Business and Fitness Center, which is scheduled to open this summer.
Barata thinks of the coffeehouse as an incubator where visitors can hatch ideas and network with new friends while relaxing after exercising in the gym or taking a break for their offices or classrooms.
The fitness center will have treadmills and stationary bicycles. But also there will be personal trainers to teach people how to use the Precor resistance machines, instructors for classes on yoga, martial arts and other programs plus flotation tanks, which will be new to many Hazleton residents.
An hour floating in a tank of water and Epsom salts, shielded from light and sound, is like four hours of sleep, Barata said.
Ken Gottstein gathered ideas for Elevate Business and Fitness during a career of visiting other cities and towns on jobs with Gottstein Construction, which he started 34 years ago.
To house Elevate Business and Fitness, he purchased the former school earlier this year.
Built in 1910 with classical pillars, stylish brickwork and decorative tiles, the school closed in 1976 after a fire in the gymnasium, which…