They’ve given more than $87 million in grants to HBCUs since the 1990s.
The National Park Service (NPS) just awarded $9.7 million in grants to preserve Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), NPS reports.
NPS recently announced that they will be awarding $9.7 million in grants to assist 21 various preservation projects in 9 different states for historic structures on the campuses of HBCUs. The funding is appointed by Congress through the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) which allocates money from federal oil and gas leases on the Outer Continental Shelf to assist a number of preservation projects without raising tax dollars. Since the 90s, NPS has awarded more than $87 million in grants to more than 85 HBCUs.
The grant is open to any accredited HBCU with an eligible project that includes the physical preservation of sites that fall under the guidelines of the National Register of Historic Places. The grants can also be used to fund "pre-preservation studies, architectural plans and specifications, historic and structure reports, campus preservation plans, and National Register nominations." In addition, each project must adhere to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards and Guidelines for Archaeology and Historic Preservation.
Recipients of this year’s grants include North Carolina A&T State University, Mississippi Industrial College, and Selma University. At North Carolina A&T, funds will go to repairing structural concrete on the seating deck, adding new seating, and creating additional ADA-accessible seating for the World War Memorial Stadium, one of the oldest minor-league stadiums in North Carolina. Mississippi Industrial College will be focusing on general repairs to the roof and building with Washington Hall contributing to a Mississippi Industrial College Historic District. Rust College also recently acquired the property and is looking into reimagining what the former HBCU could look like. Selma University is following a similar model, with Dinkins Memorial Hall helping with the Selma University Historic District. They will be tackling replacing the roof and upgrading the HVAC and electrical systems.
NPS Director Chuck Sams spoke about the organization’s commitment to preserving HBCUs, saying, “For more than 180 years, Historically Black Colleges and Universities have provided high-level academics, opportunities, and community for generations of students. These grants enable HBCUs to preserve the noteworthy structures that honor the past and tell the ongoing story of these historic institutions.”
Applications for another allotted $10 million in funding will open in the fall of 2022. For more information about the NPS HBCU grant program, click here.
Photo Courtesy of AJ Shooter Photography (Pratt Hall at Benedict College)