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INDIANAPOLIS — The Martin Luther King Community Center is ready to reopen after $2 million worth of upgrades.

A ribbon cutting and open house is set for Friday afternoon.

The MLK Community Center is a space for growth and empowerment, but the building didn’t represent the that before the upgrades.

“It’s been probably a five or six-year project in the works. The building needed a lot of TLC,” said Allison Luthe, the executive director of the MLK Community Center.

Problem areas included issues with the building’s original windows, gaps between the limestone and brick, and trouble with the heating and cooling system.

“The building is pretty much at capacity,” began Luthe. “You know, we have 150 kids this summer, and in the winter the heat, in the summer the air, it’s just either off or on. The kids are freezing in the basement and staff are sweating on the second floor.”

Now – the youth and parents in Butler Tarkington, Crown Hill, Mapleton Fall Creek and Meridian Kessler have a building they deserve.

The mission of the center can be seen through programs like a state of the art teen tech center and a year-round literacy lab.

“Job readiness, literacy, and having a safe place to come. We serve three meals a day in the summertime, so there’s just a lot going on. Kids find this as a safe place,” said Luthe.

The center takes safety one step further with its teen work crew and non-violence training programs.

Sadly, the center has lost teenagers to violence, but the space invites people to share their stories, teach, and encourage kids to make the right choices and stay out of trouble.

“It’s really important that they have that in their neighborhood and have access to opportunities that other people in other parts of the city may have easily. This way it’s low cost, most of our programs are pay what you can.”

Friday’s ribbon cutting and open house will be from 3:30 p.m. to 6. You can book a tour or find out how to volunteer here.