Built in 1926 as Hazleton High School, the Castle was the first million-dollar school constructed in Pennsylvania, but by 1998, the school was scheduled for demolition.
Hazleton Mayor Michael Marsicano held firm in refusing to grant the demolition permit and the building remained standing.
Two volunteer caretakers came forward to maintain the building and became known as the Castle Keepers. The current president of the Castle Fund Board of Directors, Tom Gabos, along with Bob Tombasco, maintained the building for six years, from 1998 to 2004, in the hopes it would someday be renovated. During that time, the Castle Keepers, along with local businessman Michael Greco, applied for a 501(c)(3) status with the intent of turning the building into a community center if it could not be renovated for use as a school once again.