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Grant Awards Support Local Construction Project
Floyd’s Jacksonville Center for the Arts has been awarded a combined $314,000 from the Appalachian Regional Commission, a federal agency, and from the Commonwealth’s division of the Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission. ARC’s portion of the award will be managed locally by their partner, the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. The project to be supported by this pair of grant awards is a facilities and infrastructure expansion project, years in the planning, that will increase the center’s capacity to serve its local, regional, and national audiences. Local partners and the Jacksonville Center itself have committed $15,000 to the project, bringing the final price tag for the construction to $329,000.
The grant award money is exclusively for “bricks and mortar” capital improvements to the campus of the Jacksonville Center – no operating support or staffing funding is included. Federal procurement procedures will apply for the construction jobs that will be created to accomplish the project. “We continue to have needs that this grant award won’t cover, like day-to-day operating expenses,” said Linda Fallon, President of the Board of Directors for the Jacksonville Center. “Our loyal members and donors will still be receiving a year-end appeal for support, and I hope they will remember us in their year-end gift-giving.”
Slated to begin construction as early as this winter (weather permitting), plans include physical facilities expansions, including revitalizing an existing addition to the primary barn facility, which had been closed due to lack of funding during the first, 2002, renovation. The Ceramics Studio will have its wrap-around porch reconfigured, with expanded work areas and a new covered outdoors activities area, envisioned for children’s use. The project also includes preservation of the front silo through applying a new roof and painting the exterior, although this funding does not include converting the front silo into newly usable space. The western-most silo, however, will be completely renovated and will include two new entryways and a roof, allowing exciting new use by entrepreneurs, instructors, and youth.
The project includes energy-saving components, including the creation of a new air-lock entryway for the barn’s main entrance, designed to prevent loss of heating and cooling in the barn. Possibly most important in the entire project, however, is the funding received that will allow widening, improving, and at least partially paving the vehicular access ways and parking areas on the campus. This, too, will have the effect of saving energy for the organization in the form of reducing parking lot and driveway maintenance and adverse weather condition clearing. “Ever since I started work here,” said John McEnhill, Executive Director for the center, “we’ve been planning, visioning, and dreaming for this day. Many people have helped us get here: various Board of Directors members; the center’s facilities committee members; professionals who have discounted and donated their services to assure architectural and structural integrity; government representatives who’ve helped make sure that the plans will meet codes and permit criteria; and many others who assisted in putting together the data and statistics required for the grant applications. We have been literally bursting at the seams, especially during the much more frequent periods when we have a critical mass of activities, and we run out of space. This is truly a huge step for the Jax.”
Organizers anticipate that the entirety of the construction process will take about a year, possibly longer depending on weather conditions. The project, planned and budgeted starting in 2005, and then “shopped around” to find appropriate funding for another few years, has received generous donations of time and expertise. “We are thrilled to have the project a major step closer to reality,” said Development Coordinator, Lee Chichester. “It’s been a long process, trying to piece together the required components, but we received lots of help from ARC reps, from our friends in Richmond working for DHCD and TIC, and many, many helpers, volunteers, staff, and users here in our region. We are especially grateful for the impressive help we’ve received from our local County Supervisors and staff, as well as our regional Planning District Commission.”
The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) is a regional economic development agency that represents a partnership of federal, state, and local government. Established by an act of Congress in 1965, ARC is composed of the governors of the 13 Appalachian states and a federal co-chair, who is appointed by the president. Local participation is provided through multi-county local development districts (www.arc.gov).
DHCD partners with Virginia’s communities to develop their economic potential, provides training and certification for building officials, and invests more than $100 million each year into housing and community development projects throughout the state – the majority of which are designed to help low-to-moderate income citizens. By partnering with local governments, nonprofit groups, state and federal agencies, and others, DHCD works to improve the quality of life for Virginians (www.dhcd.virginia.gov).
The Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission is a 31-member body created by the 1999 General Assembly to promote economic growth and development in tobacco-dependent communities, using proceeds of the national tobacco settlement. To date, the Commission has awarded 1,573 grants totaling more than $936 million across the tobacco region of the Commonwealth, and has made available nearly $309 million in indemnification payments to tobacco growers and quota holders. For information on the Commission’s history, mission, funding programs and recent grant awards, visit our website at www.tic.virginia.gov or call toll free 877-807-1086.
The Jacksonville Center for the Arts seeks to showcase, support, and facilitate artistic endeavors and rural creativity throughout Southwest Virginia. Located in a historic dairy barn in Floyd, VA, the center pursues its mission through year-round educational opportunities for youth and adults; providing affordable, accessible space and services for studio artists; mounting rotating exhibits that feature local and regional artists and artisans; special events including concerts and festivals; and by being a valued partner in the region’s creative economy. For more information about the center, visit jacksonvillecenter.org.