Selma University has been awarded $750,000 from the National Park Service (NPS) for repairs and renovations to Pollard Hall.
The funding is part of a $9.7 million investment by NPS to preserve historic structures on the campuses of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) through the Historic Preservation Fund.
“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 U.S. Rep. Terri 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.”
Pollard Hall was originally built in 1916 and served as an administrative center for visitors and a meeting place for Black educators like Booker T. Washington. It was also home to several of the university’s presidents. The building is named after former university president, Robert T. Pollard, who helped Selma University expand its campus, increase enrollment and course offerings, and eliminate the school’s debt, according to the Encyclopedia of Alabama.
“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,” Selma University President Stanford Angion said. “These structures must be preserved and shared with the public. I am tremendously grateful to Representative Terri Sewell and the National Park Service for helping us to move forward in our efforts to preserve the rich history of Pollard Hall.”
This grant project will help repair Pollard Hall’s roof, HVAC system, electrical and plumbing systems and install an elevator. The grant recipient will also contribute $496,414 in matching funds.
Pollard Hall is not the only building that is being renovated on Selma University’s campus. Dinkins Hall is also being repaired through funds from the National Park Service. Selma University received $600,000 total from the National Park Service and the Alabama Commission on Higher Education in 2022.
“These grants enable historic educational institutions to preserve the story of African American education and the campuses where new experiences and stories continue to evolve today,” National Park Services Director Chuck Sams said in a statement. “Through the Historically Black Colleges and Universities grants program, the National Park Service supports our HBCUs in the preservation of their historic campus structures and history.”