Community plans to save building of Omaha nonprofit

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Published: Apr. 14, 2022 at 10:55 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Seven years ago there were classes inside the Omaha Opportunities Industrialization Center.

Now the OOIC is in major disrepair and has been shut down for years.

”The structure and the exterior is good but the inside it has to be totally regutted and revamped so it is just in very bad shape I honestly don’t know how it got to that level of disrepair,” said Krystal Flowers.

For Krystal Flowers, the OOIC is much more than a building the programs here helped many people including some of her family members.

”My mom did some training up there some of the older people from my family as well got some jobs skills done up there.”

Krystal and a group of people wanted to save the building.

They made an attempt to buy it and asked the public for help.

”Let’s get some donations, let’s get some money so we can try to buy it so we can revamp it or we can come in ourselves as a community and we can do hands-on try to revamp it our selves do what we need to do.”

But they couldn’t raise enough money and the building continued to deteriorate.

Krystal couldn’t save the building but they are continuing some of the programs that helped so many over the years.

“We are now OOIC of Omaha we wanted to kind of keep that philosophy and mission going so we created a new nonprofit organization to carry out those same values.”

There has been success in building new life in old buildings along North 24th Street. Swan Development was able to save the historic Carnation Ballroom.

Ben Swan knows it would be a challenge to save the OOIC building.

”So whether that building is saved and restored it’s got sufficient differed maintenance it’s your understanding there’s a lot of water damage in that. What we need in North Omaha on North 24th Street is good quality building stock and good quality housing stock that’s affordable and able to be used by the community,” said Swan.

The realtor handling the building says they are working with someone who is interested in purchasing the property.

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