OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – Seven years ago there were classes inside the Omaha Opportunity Industrialization Center.
Now the OOIC is in very poor condition and has been closed for years.
“The structure and exterior are good, but the interior needs to be totally redone and renovated, so it’s in very poor condition. Honestly, I don’t know how it got to this level of disrepair,” Krystal Flowers said. .
For Krystal Flowers, the OOIC is much more than a building, the programs here have helped many people, including some of her family members.
“My mother did some training there, some of my older people also got job skills there.”
Krystal and a group of people wanted to save the building.
They tried to buy it and asked the public for help.
“Let’s get donations, let’s get money so we can try to buy it so we can revamp it or we can come into ourselves as a community and we can try to revamp it ourselves, do whatever we have 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 have helped so many over the years.
“We are now OOIC of Omaha, we kind of wanted to keep that philosophy and mission, so we created a new non-profit organization to carry out those same values.”
There has been success in building new life into the 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 may this building be saved and restored, it has sufficient deferred maintenance, you understand there’s a lot of water damage in there. What we need in North Omaha on North 24th Street, it’s good quality housing stock and good quality housing stock that’s affordable and can be used by the community,” Swan said.
The real estate agent looking after the building says he is working with someone who is interested in buying the property.
Copyright 2022 WOWT. All rights reserved.