A nearly $500,000 grant is helping Miles College to restore the oldest building on campus! Learn more about Williams Hall in the article by Michael Seale at Patch below!

Source: Wikipedia

The oldest building on the Miles College campus is the focus of a preservation and restoration project, thanks to a grant received by the college from the Historically Black Colleges and Universities grant program.

Miles was awarded a $499,869 grant, funded by the Historic Preservation Fund and administered by the National Park Service, Department of Interior for the second phase of preservation and restoration of Williams Hall, erected in 1907 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 

Miles was one of 20 schools – and one of two schools in Alabama – to receive a portion of the $9.7 million in grants awarded during this round of funding. The monies are designated for the preservation of historic structures on campuses of HBCUs.

“We want to thank the National Park Service and Congresswoman Terri Sewell for their continued support. This grant permits us to move forward with the next phase of the restoration process to preserve this key historic landmark,” Miles College president Bobbie Knight said. “We are grateful to the Historic Preservation Fund and National Park Service for their vision to save and restore monuments significant to African American cultural history in America.” 

Congress appropriates funding for the program through the Historic Preservation Fund, which uses revenue from federal oil leases on the Outer Continental Shelf, providing assistance for a broad range of preservation projects without expending tax dollars.

U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (AL-07) was instrumental in helping Miles College secure funding for Williams Hall through the Historic Preservation Fund. 

“Each year, as Congress makes critical decisions about which federal programs to fund, ensuring that preservation projects on HBCU campuses get the robust funding they deserve remains one of my top legislative priorities,” Sewell said. “I’m thrilled to see that Alabama HBCUs are once again beneficiaries of this program.” 

Once the site of several epic events during the Civil Rights Era, Williams Hall has been in disrepair for several years. The preservation, renovation, and rehabilitation of Williams Hall will document and preserve the site of many stories related to the African American struggle to gain equal rights as citizens in the 20th Century. 

The school intends to restore Williams Hall to its appearance at that time while extending the usable lifespan of the building by providing modern and purposefully designed spaces for academic, teaching, and museum offerings. 

Once Williams Hall has been restored, Miles College plans to use the building as a teaching museum to honor the founders, students, alumni and the school’s role in the Modern-Day Civil Rights Movement. 

Upon its completion, Williams Hall will also house the Miles College Center for Economic and Social Justice.