Rep. Sewell announces $750k for Selma University to preserve Pollard Hall
SELMA, Ala. (WSFA) - U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell announced that the National Park Service (NPS) will award $750,000 to Selma University to preserve the historic Pollard Hall.
The funding is part of a $9.7 million investment by NPS to preserve historic structures on the campuses of America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Every year, Rep. Sewell leads the congressional effort to increase funding for the NPS Historic Preservation Fund to preserve Civil Rights sites and HBCU campuses. Sewell serves as Vice Chair of the Congressional HBCU Caucus.
“I’m thrilled to announce that the National Park Service is investing $750,000 to preserve the historic Pollard Hall on the campus of Selma University,” said Rep. Sewell. “This funding will enable Selma University to make critical repairs to Pollard Hall to ensure that the rich legacy of this cherished institution lives on for generations.”
Selma University was founded as the Alabama Baptist Normal and Theological School in 1878. Pollard Hall was built in 1916 and served as an administrative center for visitors, a meeting place for major figures in Black education, including Booker T. Washington and a home for several university presidents.
“The historic structures on Selma University’s campus are dear to us and tell the story of a people who banded their meager resources to build a better life for themselves and their posterity,” said Selma University President Dr. Stanford E. Angion. “These structures must be preserved and shared with the public. I am tremendously grateful to Rep. Terri Sewell and the National Park Service for helping us to move forward in our efforts to preserve the rich history of Pollard Hall.”
Pollard Hall is a contributing resource to the proposed Selma University Historic District. This grant project will help repair the roof, HVAC system, electrical and plumbing systems and install an elevator. The grant recipient will also contribute $496,414 in matching funds.
The funding is part of a $9.7 million investment by NPS in HBCUs nationwide. Since the 1990s, the National Park Service has awarded over $60 million in grants to over 80 of the remaining active HBCUs. These grants work to preserve the historic structures on HBCU campuses, many of which are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
To learn more about the NPS HBCU grant program, click here.
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