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Flint, MI–A set of grants equaling $615,000 will allow the Latinx Technology and Community Center to renovate its second floor, part of its larger plans to create a Latinx district in Flint.
In the spring of 2021, the tech center released a list of projects all aiming to beautify both the center’s building as well as the handful of city blocks surrounding it along Lewis Street. These projects included establishing a community garden, creating a soccer field and renovating the center’s second floor.
“We’re hopeful that before the end of 2022 we will have that space (second floor) utilized for the expansion of programs and services … The biggest thing for us is to use this space to strengthen the community. That’s part of the goal too, to partner with community organizations to continue to fill those gaps,” Asa Zuccaro, director of the tech center, said.
For years, the unfurnished second floor has been used exclusively for storage, as many of the floors, ceilings and walls are cracked and in need of reinforcement. In addition, for insulation purposes, the south-facing windows on the second floor were all filled in with cement.
Though no solid plans have been made regarding what organizations will occupy the second-floor offices, Zuccaro said potential occupants could include a full-time immigration attorney or a mental health expert as well as a multi-use community meeting room.
With funds now secured for the most expensive of these projects, Zuccaro’s plans for completing the renovations are set for the end of 2022. Other projects like adding artwork to the nearby I-475 underpass have already been completed while plans to expand the center’s pre-existing community garden started in the fall of last year.
To aid in this renovation, the C.S Mott Foundation has given the tech center a grant of $575,000 which was complemented by a grant of $40,000 from the Community Development Block Grant program.