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Alabama A&M National Park Grant will restore, renovate Carnegie Hall Library

The $500,000 grant is part of a National Park Service program to assist 21 preservation projects in 9 states for historic structures at HBCUs.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — The National Park Service (NPS) today announced $9.7 million in grants to assist 21 preservation projects in 9 states for historic structures on campuses of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

“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,” said NPS Director Chuck Sams.

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 (HPF). The HPF 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.

RELATED: A new partnership with Alabama A&M and Georgia Tech is underway

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.  All projects must follow the Secretary of the Interior's Standards and Guidelines for Archeology and Historic Preservation.

Projects receiving grants this year will preserve stories, resources, and places, such as:   

  • Alabama A&M University: Restore and renovate Carnegie Hall Library. According to the school, in 1904, Carnegie Library became the first library constructed atop “Normal’s Hill” during the administration of the university’s first principal and president, Dr. William Hooper Councill. The construction of the library was sponsored by funds donated by industrialist, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie. Carnegie was the founder of Carnegie Steel Corporation, the largest steel company in the world by 1889.

  • North Carolina A&T State University: The World War Memorial Stadium was designed in 1926 and is the oldest minor-league ballpark in North Carolina. This project will address repairs to the structural concrete seating deck and installation of new seating, and the addition of ADA-accessible seating as well as other safety devices.  

  • Mississippi Industrial College: Washington Hall was founded in 1905 and is contributing to Mississippi Industrial College Historic District. Rust College, located directly across the street acquired the property and is working to reimagine the former HBCU. This project will address repairs to the roof and building envelope.   

  • Selma University: Dinkins Memorial Hall is contributing to the proposed Selma University Historic District, as determined by the Alabama Historical Commission. This project will address replacement of the roof, and upgrades to the HVAC and electrical systems. 

Learn more about the Historically Black Colleges and Universities grant program. Applications for $10 million in FY2022 funding will be available in fall of 2022.  

RELATED: Community partnerships help Alabama A&M grow

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