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Major renovations at Yates Illuminates made possible by community, ARPA donations

The building is undergoing a $4.5 million renovation
Posted at 10:26 PM, Apr 19, 2022

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Exciting changes are happening at Yates Illuminates.

It’s been a community staple in the Gifford Park neighborhood for decades, now Yates Illuminates hopes to shine a new light on immigrant and refugee families.

"We aim to serve in our community by offering social cultural and educational resources in an inclusive environment," said director of possibilities Daniel Padilla.

The former school is being transformed into a first-of-its-kind community center, with something for everyone.

"It’s a completely novel idea it hasn’t happened anywhere before," said instructor Adrian Petrescu.

"It’s such a unique set of organizations that are going to provide a holistic approach to all to the whole community," said Padilla.

Learning opportunities will include but are not limited to ESL, entrepreneurship and citizenship courses.

The transformation of the center will also involve a $4.5 million renovation for the space inside and out with some of the funding coming from the American Rescue Plan Act.

The Yates building has close ties to the community. Concerned neighbors fought to keep the space available for the community while it was owned by Omaha Public Schools.

It was a fight the community won, and now they hope the new space will better serve the community for the future.

"We hope that the next generation of American innovators come and build their own companies and craft from here," said Petrescu.

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