Flint, MI—The Latinx Technology & Community Center (LTCC) on Flint’s east side will soon unveil its newly renovated second floor and community playground. 

The center’s executive director Asa Zuccaro said it’s great to see the second-floor space become what it is now, an additional 2,000 square feet that’ll help accommodate services provided by LTCC and its partners.

Center officials will be hosting a grand opening for its second floor and community playground on Thursday, June 15, 2023 at 10 a.m. at LTCC located at 2101 Lewis St.

“For the organization, it’s a huge accomplishment. I remember when I first interviewed for this position, I was volunteering here, and I remember going upstairs and just seeing how much potential building space could be available and renovated,” said Zuccaro, who became the center’s director in 2018. LTCC is a nonprofit organization that offers youth literacy programs, language services and referrals to resources, like housing, employment and benefits. 

Now just beside the LTCC building is its newly built playground.

“Anytime we get to see neighborhood residents or people that come here utilizing the playground, it means a lot because I know as an organization, for years we have advocated for the need for investment to give this neighborhood a playground,” Zuccaro said. 

The Latinx Technology & Community Center’s newly built playground in Flint, Mich. on Monday, June 12, 2023. (Michael Indriolo | Flint Beat)

The executive director added that he’s looking forward to seeing youth enrolled in the center’s Spanish and workforce summer programs enjoy the new playground.

“It’ll be a very unique experience just to see how … that resonates with them,” he said.

The playground sits in a space that used to be an empty lot. As for the center’s second floor, it was previously unfurnished, had boarded windows, and was being used for storage.

“It was completely in ruin,” said Levi Todd, a consultant for LTCC on economic development and government affairs. 

Now, it’s been fitted with things like offices, a conference room, and creative and multi-purpose studios. 

Sunlight flows into the Latinx Technology & Community Center’s renovated second floor in Flint, Mich. on Monday, June 13, 2023. (Michael Indriolo | Flint Beat)
A window on the Latinx Technology & Community Center looks out onto Lewis Street in Flint, Mich. on Monday, June 13, 2023. (Michael Indriolo | Flint Beat)

The multi-purpose studio is already being used by the nonprofit organization El Ballet Folklórico Estudiantil for music and dance classes. Another nonprofit, 100K Ideas, will use the creative studio to provide services for entrepreneurs and businesses, previously done on the center’s first floor.

The second floor’s renovations were funded by a $575,000 grant from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. The playground’s construction was funded by private donors as well as philanthropic and nonprofit organizations and cost $80,000, Zuccaro said.

LTCC is currently fundraising for additional work related to landscaping, lighting and fencing for the playground, according to Todd.

Todd added that the center’s renovation of its second floor and playground construction is part of its broader goal to revitalize the neighborhood. 

“It’s like an anchor institution on the east side and to see the community playground also that was just built is really cool,” Todd said. 

Windows on the Latinx Technology & Community Center look out onto Lewis Street in Flint, Mich. on Monday, June 13, 2023. (Michael Indriolo | Flint Beat)

Looking ahead, LTCC is also raising funds for its plans to develop land owned by the center on Lewis Street. That includes beautifying a space beside the center known as the “community pocket park,” Zuccaro said. Other plans involve creating a soccer field and renovating a vacant building to establish a center focused on early childhood and youth education, including bilingual learning.

Zuccaro said the vision “would drastically change the outlook of the neighborhood, drastically improve the infrastructure and community space available to our neighbors and to our cultural community.”

Nicholas is Flint Beat’s public health and education reporter. He joins the team as he graduates from Santa Clara University, Calif. Nicholas has previously reported on dementia and brain health, as...

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