Storm damage closes DREAMS, city centers

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DREAMS of Wilmington is looking for an alternative space.

Because of damage from Hurricane Florence, DREAMS of Wilmington will close its facility at 901 Fanning St. for the rest of the semester.

“We’ve had a lot of damage, more than we would like,” said DREAMS’ interim executive director Kevin Blackburn. “We’re really grateful to all the people in the neighborhood who helped us out.”

DREAMS — which provides free classes and programs in visual and performing arts for youth in need — is currently seeking an alternate space to use in the interim, Blackburn said. In an email to parents and supporters, Blackburn said he hopes to resume programming by Oct. 22.

Severe water damage will require whole sections of the walls to be cut out and replaced, Blackburn said, in addition to other repairs. Formerly a municipal bus garage, the building was originally constructed in 1939.

Refunds on this semester’s tuition are available, Blackburn said. Otherwise, any fees paid will be rolled over until next semester.

For more information, call DREAMS at 910-623-8519 or email

Meanwhile, the city of Wilmington’s Martin Luther King Center at 401 S. Eighth St. and the Derrick Davis Community Center in Maides Park at 1101 Manly Ave. both remain closed due to water damage from the storm. City officials say both centers should reopen within the next two weeks.

In the meantime, recreation programs at both centers have been moved to Williston Middle School, 401 S. 10th St. For more information, call Wilmington Parks and Recreation at 910-798-7855.