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East Baltimore school to become Korean center

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke and Korean community leaders broke ground yesterday at Federal Street and Greenmount Avenue on a $1.1 million project to turn the decaying Benjamin Banneker School building into a center for Korean senior citizens and residents of the East Baltimore neighborhood.

Kimo Nam, Baltimore Metropolitan Korean Senior Center executive director, said the facility in the 800 block of Park Ave. will relocate when the renovation is completed, probably about May 1.

The center -- which offers English and citizenship classes, field trips, health care aid and a daily lunch -- has had three locations in 12 years.

Jai Ryu, a Loyola College sociologist who is Schmoke's liaison to the Korean community, said he pushed for the inner-city site as a way of improving relations between the city's small Korean population and the African-American majority.

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