The Romain Arts & Culture Community Center sits in the former Greeley School-a 50, 000 square foot school building in Peoria, IL. The building was purchased and paid in full in July of 2018.
In the age of STEAM-based education, community centers such as this are a valuable asset. The center offers arts education programs and rental spaces for community events, entrepreneurs, businesses, and artists.
The arts reach beyond experiencing and creating. A community thriving in arts can lead to improved early learning, higher educational achievement, enlivened elderly, better citizens, and enhanced business performance. In short, Artists ReEnvisioning Tomorrow helps makes our community a better place.
The studio on Sheridan
Jonathon thought the Sheridan location would be large enough to start some sort of center. Unfortunately, he outgrew it.
Before he knew it, we were using all 15,000 square feet of the building.
Jonathon met Nikki, fell in love, got married and had Kennedy!
Jonathon drove by Greely and saw that it was for sale. For some reason it haunted him for a few months. He thought back on what he wanted to do in the other building, and he made an appointment with the realtor and after seeing the inside he fell in love with it.
He told Nikki what he was thinking and he just new she would think he was crazy, but when she didn’t, he knew she was crazy. The two of them, together, were just crazy enough to do it.
After finally convincing the school district to sell us the building, winning the bid and talking to everyone we thought we needed to talk to we ran into a wall.
Our zoning request was
After a persuasive debate we were allowed our special use zoning and ultimately closed on the building.
From the first time Jonathon went into Greely until the day we closed four years had come and gone.
There is definitely something to be said about perseverance.
Work! Work! Work!
After closing, we won the State Farm Neighborhood Assist Grant and began the work inside of the building. Jonathon and his crew dove into this project with full force. We gutted bathrooms, re-wired a thousand lights, pulled up sewer extractors, stripped floors and fought off bats. And one year later, in June 2019, we then opened our doors as The Romain Arts & Culture and kicked off our first Summer Arts camp.
One Year Later!
In just one year after opening our doors, we've completely transformed from the inside and out. We also received a grant for solar panels from the Edwards Settlement fund, which will turn this 100 year old building into a green building. The five things that we are doing today that will increase sustainability and longevity:
- Removed all light ballast, rewired and installed LED bulbs for approximately 500 fixtures
- Replace windows
- Paid cash for the building and repairs
- Install solar panels
- New energy efficient furnaces instead of boilers
- Hourly Rentals
Out strategy for the Romain Arts & Culture Center ensures that your donation will go straight to our programming needs! Make a donation today!