The National Park Service (NPS) will award grants to five Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in Alabama. The funding will be used to preserve historic structures on the campuses of Alabama State University, Miles College, Selma University, Alabama A&M University, and Stillman College.
“I’m thrilled to announce that the National Park Service is investing $2.5 million to preserve historic structures on the campuses of Alabama’s HBCUs,” Congresswoman Terri Sewell (D-AL07) said. “This is a big win for Alabama. Alabama’s HBCUs have played such a pivotal role in shaping the history of our nation, and I was so proud to help make this funding available, which will be used to preserve these cherished institutions."
The funding is part of a $9.7 million investment by NPS in HBCUs nationwide. Since the 1990s, the NPS has awarded more than $87 million in grants to over 85 of the remaining active HBCUs. Congress appropriates funding for the program through the Historic Preservation Fund which uses revenue from federal oil and gas leases on the Outer Continental Shelf, providing assistance for a broad range of preservation projects without expending tax dollars.
“For more than 180 years, Historically Black Colleges and Universities have provided high-level academics, opportunities, and community for generations of students,” said NPS Director Chuck Sams. “These grants enable HBCUs to preserve the noteworthy structures that honor the past and tell the ongoing story of these historic institutions.”
“On behalf of everyone at Selma University, we are elated to receive the grant award,” said Selma University President Stanford E. Angion, Ed.D. “We are so appreciative of Congresswoman Sewell’s support of the university. This funding will go a long way in helping our students at Selma University and the entire community of Selma, Alabama.”
Stillman College President Dr. Cynthia Warrick said the school funds would be used on the historic Sheppard Library.
"Stillman College sits on the 105-acre former Cochran plantation that housed 71 slaves,” Warrick said. "This grant will make a major impact for the restoration of Sheppard Library, especially its columns and capitals imported from Italy from the Cochran plantation house. We continue to be grateful for Congresswoman Sewell's unwavering support of Stillman College and all HBCUs in the District."
Accredited HBCUs are eligible to apply for this grant program, and eligible projects include physical preservation of sites listed in or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. HBCU grants can also fund pre-preservation studies, architectural plans and specifications, historic structure reports, campus preservation plans, and National Register nominations.
Applications for $10 million in FY2022 funding will be available in the fall of 2022.
The following Alabama HBCUs will receive funding:
Alabama State University - $500,000 for the G.W. Trenholm Hall Preservation Project
Miles College - $500,000 for the Williams Hall Historic Preservation Project
Selma University - $500,000 to preserve the Historic Dinkins Memorial Hall
Alabama A&M University - $500,000 for restoration and renovation of Carnegie Hall Library
Stillman College - $500,000 to transform Sheppard Library into a Civil Rights museum
To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email brandon.moseley@1819News.com.
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