714 S. Clay Street
The closing of the Presbyterian Community Center 2 years ago left the Smoketown neighborhood with no community space and no neighborhood-based youth programming. We are eager to help fill these needs and recently began leasing a former liquor store at 714 S. Clay Street from Louisville Metro Housing Authority. Our goal is for neighborhood residents, volunteers, businesses and the broader Louisville community to come together to transform this abandoned building on a high crime city block into a neighborhood arts center. The building was in a bad shape, so we have a lot of work to do. We had successful volunteer days in April 2015 and 2016 during the Mayor’s Give a Day week of service where over 40 volunteers helped us tear out water damaged walls and ceiling tiles, filling two 15 yard dumpsters!
Between June and September, Howell & Howell construction donated supplies and volunteers to lead a team of YouthBuild Louisville graduates in reframing the roof. Metro United Way connected us with a team of volunteers from the United Auto Workers who donated supplies and time to install shingles, flashing and siding on the roof and demolished and replaced the water damaged bathroom wall. We launched a Power2Give campaign and raised over $10,000 to repair the building. We used that money to install a new HVAC system, a kitchenette, masonry work, and gutters. Cunningham Doors generously donated and installed an overhead door. Sherwin Williams and EMCO generously donated all of our paint needs.
A physical space will enable the Steam Exchange to expand our current programming, serve more young people, and reach a broader audience and age range. We are excited to turn the Clay Street building into a vibrant community space that meets our needs, however there is still a lot of renovation and repair work that needs to be done. We are projected to open in the Spring of 2017.