The Lake Holcombe High School in Holcombe, Wisconsin recently upgraded its science classroom as a result of a USDA Rural Development Community Facilities Economic Impact Initiative Grant. Holcombe is a small rural community in the northwest area of the state. The science classroom was outdated, making it difficult for the teachers to keep pace with new curriculum requirements and for students to conduct the necessary science experiments for that curriculum.
The newly redesigned science classroom is now compliant with the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and is similar to other high school science classrooms in the state. A tank was also installed, along with new plumbing, to provide treatment for the chemical waste generated from science-related class work. Now, the science curriculum can be expanded to offer experiences and experiments to the students that are equivalent with other science courses offered to their peers in the state. In addition, new flooring, counters tops, bench fuel valves, sinks, and cabinets were installed, bringing the classroom into the 21st century. The 2013-2014 school year will be the first full year that the students will have access to the improvements. Read more »
United States Senators Tom Carper (left) and Chris Coons (right) with children attending Primeros Pasos (First Steps). The children will move to a larger facility with funding assistance from USDA. USDA photo.
Last week, United States Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons and USDA officials announced a federal grant award to Primeros Pasos, a non-profit organization dedicated to the establishment of a multi-cultural early child care education center for all children of families living and working in the Georgetown, Delaware area.
USDA recognizes that access to quality child care is a major component in helping the unemployed and underemployed make the transition to employment. This organization is improving the quality of life in rural America and is gifted with the two elements necessary for the success of this facility — sound management and community support. Read more »
Fresh, local Louisiana produce, like this will soon be available at the new farmers market in Harrisonburg, thanks to a Community Facilities Grant from USDA. Photo by Karen Lawson, USDA.
The Village of Harrisonburg, Louisiana, the 750-person seat of Catahoula Parish, will soon provide a centralized location for farmers to sell their fresh, healthy produce to its citizens and others in the surrounding area. The Village received funding through USDA’s Community Facility grant program in order to provide a location for a farmer’s market in their town.
This farmers market project will provide an essential public service to a persistently poverty-afflicted area with an unemployment rate of 54.9 percent and a median household income of under $22,000, which is below the poverty level. Catahoula Parish is a special emphasis parish as well as a 2008 presidentially declared disaster parish. Read more »
(L to R) Anne Hogya, Pittston Library Director, Thomas Williams, USDA Rural Development State Director, and Barbara Quinn, Library Board President, display artist renderings of the library expansion slated to begin this summer. USDA photos.
Nestled among mountain regions between Scranton and Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania the city of Pittston is the gateway to the Wyoming Valley. The city gained prominence in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as a booming coal mining center. After experiencing many ups and downs, Pittston is experiencing a rebirth as family businesses come back to the downtown area. With local, state and federal funding from USDA Rural Development, Transportation Enhancement Grants and state gaming revenue grants, Pittston is halfway through a 20-year revitalization project that includes continued upgrades to the streetscape, library and City Hall. Read more »
The inside of the newly restored courthouse and the attendees at the Grand Opening Ceremony. USDA photos.
In 2009, Bolivar County, Mississippi, Administrator William Hooker and a board-delegated crew of local leaders traveled to meet with members of Congress in Washington, D.C., to rally for the financial support to restore the Bolivar County courthouse in Rosedale, MS. They received funding for the project and on April 2, 2012 a ground breaking ceremony was held for the First Judicial District Courthouse located in Rosedale. USDA Rural Development awarded a $350,000 Recovery Act Community Facilities grant. The project also received a $350,000 Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Economic Grant, a $300,000 grant from the MS Department of Archives and History, and $300,000 from the Bolivar County Board of Supervisors. A majority of the money went towards improving the building’s weakening foundation. Installing a new roof and a number of interior retouches were also big parts of the restoration. Read more »
Agriculture Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Doug O’Brien talks about the how his agency’s programs can help develop and expand business development in rural areas.
What do 13 doctors in Southern Illinois, hundreds of outpatients and a bilingual library have in common? USDA Rural Development! Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Doug O’Brien recently visited the Monroe County Surgical Center in Waterloo and the Fairmont City Library Center in the Illinois Metro East area near St. Louis. Both were recipients of Rural Development funding during the last two years. O’Brien saw in person what the two have in common…success of two local projects that are models for other businesses and communities eligible for Rural Development funding. Read more »