Although it was announced Lowe's in Lehighton would open Friday, the store manager said the doors will open to customers a day early.

The opening will be at 6 a.m. tomorrow.

A grand opening will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 29.

The manager is Kerry Collins, who transferred to Lehighton from a new store in eastern Lancaster County.

The store will be open Monday through Saturday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., and on Sunday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Collins said he is impressed with the work the employees have done in getting the store ready for the opening.

"We walked into the store on Aug. 23," he said. "In a month's time, we went from an empty shell to a nearly-completed store."

He said the new Lehighton Lowe's, built at the site of the former Wal-Mart along Route 443 across from Carbon Plaza in Mahoning Township, "is one of the new prototypes of Greenworks."

He added that the protecting the environment is important, and that Lowe's opted for the reuse of an existing commercial site instead of creating a new one.

More merchandise is still arriving at the store, including Christmas items, which will be displayed over the next few weeks. Basically, though, the store is fully stocked with a large inventory of home improvement items including appliances, hardware, tools, lumber, cabinets, and plumbing and electrical supplies.

"One of the things I'm most proud of is our appliance business," said Collins. "We carry most major brands and we stock about 250 models. We offer next day delivery."

He said there is also a "special order express program" in which products can be shipped to the Lehighton store from other Lowe's locations in less than a week.

"A lot of our appliances are part of the Energy Star program," commented the manager. "Lowe's has earned the Energy Star award eight years in a row."

The home improvement store has 104,000 square feet of retail sales space, with an adjacent garden center having an additional 28,000 square feet of space.

When fully stocked, the garden center will offer 40,000 different items, said officials from corporate headquarters in Mooresville, N.C.

Collins said because we are at the end of the summer season, there will be a limited selection of fall plants with Christmas trees arriving late in November.

There are various brands of paints, stains, sealers, and primers. Collins said Valspar paint is Lowe's featured paint. One of the newest varieties is "asthma and allergy friendly paint." Like other paints, this can be mixed to produce any color or be purchased as ultrawhite premix.

Lowe's isn't only for adults. Collins pointed out that every other Saturday a "Build and Grow Clinic" for children will be held to introduce youngsters to projects. The clinics are recommended for children in grades 2 to 5 and "is a way for parents and adult mentors to spend quality time with children free of charge," said Collins.

The first clinic is set for Oct. 1.

The schedule for the clinics will be posted at the front of the store.

Two major donations will be made by Lowes of Lehighton.

Collins said $1,000 will be given to Lehighton Area School District to help with a specified project.

Another $7,500 will be donated to the Lehighton Downtown Improvement Committee for a project it is doing.

On the day of the grand opening, a donation will be made to Habitat for Humanity in a special gift-card match.

The grand opening will be done in unique style. Instead of a ribbon-cutting ceremony, there will be a "board cutting ceremony," said Collins.