OMAHA, Neb (KMTV) – It has been around since 1917 and husband and wife Marie Helen Andre and Adrian Petrescu want the Yates building to remain for another 100 years.
“For us, it’s an attractive center for people who need to learn to be American and do it quickly,” says Petrescu.
The old school building was used by Omaha Public Schools to teach adult education, teach immigrants vital language skills, so they can go on and help their own children live in America.
The building is also a community center, open to all, used for a variety of endeavors, including mentoring programs.
But a lot of it is now in limbo. The OPS announced in the fall that its programs are moving and that they may sell the building to developers. Dozens of activists won their case this month when the OPS board delayed a vote, saying they would make a decision in late spring, early summer.
“The board realizes that we need time. We really want to organize ourselves and get something in partnership with OPS, ”says Andre.
The building was threatened a few years ago and the ops finally said they would keep the building. Those who want to save Yates would love OPS to do it again, but they are also thinking long term, which means buying the building from OPS themselves and keeping its mission of educating and being a public center for the diverse community. from Omaha.
“We have to find partnerships, maybe with local organizations that want to rent a space, artists to use. We have come up with a lot of ideas,” says Andre.