• Division of Educational Outreach awarded over $31,000 in grants

    Posted: October 25, 2011

    Author: Gena Robbins

    The Alabama Historical Commission (AHC) recently awarded over $31,000 in grants to two projects in the Division of Educational Outreach (DEO) at the University of West Alabama.

    The Sumter County Historical Society was awarded $15,880 for Cedarwood Historic Restoration to the Center for the Study of the Black Belt and the University of West Alabama was awarded $15,785 to the Fort Tombecbe Archaeological Project.

    The Alabama Historical Commission (AHC) recently awarded over $750,000 in historic preservation grants. Governor Robert Bentley and the state legislature provided a one-time appropriation to establish this grant program.

    "These grants help people from every corner of the state preserve their history. Historic preservation develops local economies, provides jobs, and strengthens tourism," said Frank White, AHC executive director.

    According to economic development consultant Donovan Rypkema, historic building rehabilitation creates more jobs and has a greater economic impact than an equal amount of investment in new construction and manufacturing output.

    Preservation’s impact on tourism is also significant. Auburn University Montgomery economics professor Dr. Keivan Deravi estimates that people visiting historic sites in Alabama create 5,900 jobs and $96 million in payroll each year. He estimates that heritage tourism generates $5.1 million in state sales and income tax revenue for Alabama.

    The response to the grant program was significant, with 277 organizations in 60 counties requesting over $6.1 million. The AHC funded less than 20 percent of the proposals. For a full list of grant awards visit www.preserveala.org/grantsprogram.aspx.

    To protect, preserve, and interpret Alabama’s historic places is the mission of the Alabama Historical Commission, the State Historic Preservation Office.

    For more information, please contact the Division of Educational Outreach at the University of West Alabama at (205) 652-3828 or centerforblackbelt@uwa.edu.
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