Edward Waters University (EWU) Receives Grant from National Park Service (NPS)

Edward Waters was awarded a $500,000 grant for the restoration of Centennial Hall.

Jacksonville, Florida – The National Park Service (NPS) has awarded a $500,000 grant to Edward Waters University (EWU) for the restoration of Centennial Hall. This grant is part of the $9.7 million awarded to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in ten states for the preservation of historic facilities on campus through the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF).

“HBCUs have been an important part of the American education system for more than 180 years, providing high-level academics, opportunities, and community for generations of students,” said NPS Deputy Director Shawn Benge. “The National Park Service’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities Grant Program provides assistance to preserve noteworthy structures that honor the past and tell the ongoing story of these historic institutions.”

Since 1995, the NPS has awarded $77.6 million in grants to 66 HBCUs. Congress appropriates funding for the program through the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF). The HPF uses revenue from federal oil leases on the Outer Continental Shelf to provide assistance for a broad range of preservation projects without expending tax dollars.

Projects funded by these grants will support the physical preservation of National Register listed sites on HBCU campuses to include historic districts, buildings, sites, structures, and objects. Eligible costs include pre-preservation studies, architectural plans and specifications, historic structure reports, and the repair and rehabilitation of historic properties according to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.

This years’ grants will fund projects that include a window restoration project for Centennial Hall at EWU.  Housing the university library, Centennial Hall contains approximately 13,000 print volumes and provides access to over 250,000 electronic books and more than 60 print periodicals. As an information commons hub, the library facilitates academic learning and research, supports the institution’s curriculum through enhanced classroom instruction, fosters critical thinking and information literacy, and promotes professional, ethical and social growth by providing the latest information resources, services, and technologies to students and employees. Further, the library is a member of the American Library Association, the HBCU Library Alliance, and the Northeast Florida Library Information Network (NEFLIN).

“This award from the National Park Service will allow Edward Waters to further its mission of student access and opportunity as we work to transform the university library and make it a hub for exploration, collaboration, and innovation while honoring the history and traditions of the structure,” said EWU President and CEO, Dr. A. Zachary Faison, Jr. “We are in a period of dynamic transition at Edward Waters and we will continue to seek opportunities like this one to enhance our facilities and advance our reputation as the state of Florida’s premier destination institution of higher education and Emerging Eminence.”

About Edward Waters University

Edward Waters University (EWU), accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and member of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), is a private, historically black, urban college which offers a liberal arts education with a strong emphasis on the Christian principles of high moral and spiritual values. EWU was established in 1866 and is an African Methodist Episcopal Church-related institution of learning. It is the first private institution of higher education in the State of Florida.

About the National Park Service

Since 1916, the National Park Service has been entrusted with the care of our national parks. With the help of volunteers and partners, we safeguard these special places and share their stories with more than 318 million visitors every year. But our work doesn’t stop there.

We are proud that tribes, local governments, nonprofit organizations, businesses, and individual citizens ask for our help in revitalizing their communities, preserving local history, celebrating local heritage, and creating close-to-home opportunities for kids and families to get outside, be active, and have fun. 

About the Historic Preservation Fund

The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 set the federal vision for historic preservation in the United States. To support the vision and framework laid out in this act, the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) was established in 1977 to provide financial assistance to, originally, states, to carry out activities related to preservation. Funding is provided from Outer Continental Shelf oil lease revenues, not tax dollars, and an amount is appropriated annually by Congress. Awards from the HPF are made to States, Tribes, Territories, local governments, and non-profits. The National Park Service’s State, Tribal, Local, Plans & Grants Division manages the programs and grant awards funded by the HPF. Today, the fund is the primary Federal funding source for matching grants to State and Tribal historic preservation offices and other eligible recipients to pay for such things as surveys and repair of historic resources, training, nominations to the National Register of Historic Places, and grants to local jurisdictions for their preservation priorities. In short, the HPF makes preservation possible. This fund is an expression of federal commitment to America’s rich heritage that has invested more than $2 billion in communities since the early 1970s.

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