Former school to be converted into new public library, satellite campus for Ashland Community & Technical College
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 13, 2013) – Gov. Steve Beshear today announced $860,000 to rehabilitate the former Olive Hill High School into the new Olive Hill Community Educational Arts Center. The facility will serve as both a public library for the city and a satellite campus for the Ashland Community & Technical College.
“The best tools we can give Kentuckians to help find employment and be competitive in a modern workforce, are education and training,” said Beshear. “Unfortunately, citizens in many of our rural communities do not have easy access to the learning and technological resources that can help them succeed. This new center in Olive Hill will provide residents with the books, computers, classes and space they need to help learn, grow and make a better life for themselves and their families.”
The city of Olive Hill currently has no public library or public technology center for residents to access computers or the internet. The closest public library is located 40 minutes away in Grayson, and that facility is too small to accommodate members from Olive Hill.
Only 14.5 percent of Olive Hill’s population has earned an associate, bachelor’s or graduate/professional degree. The educational and technological resources provided by the new center will help enhance literacy throughout the community and provide increased learning opportunities for residents.
The new Olive Hill Community Educational Arts Center will be housed in the city’s old high school, which was originally built in 1929. Renovation to the three-story building will include the refurbishing of walls, ceilings and floors, the installation of electrical wiring and duct work for zone HVAC, the installation of handicapped-accessible restrooms and the addition of an elevator.
Ashland Community & Technical College will utilize the new center as a satellite campus to offer both credit and non-credit courses. Courses will include remedial math and English, classes, employment and skills training, lifelong learning classes and other courses deemed necessary based on a community needs assessment for college-level credit courses.
Funding for this renovation project includes a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), a $325,000 Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) grant and a $35,000 Energy Efficiency Block Grant (EECBG) from the U.S. Department of Energy for energy-efficient HVAC equipment that will help reduce the center’s carbon footprint.
The state’s CDBG program is administered by DLG and is funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Kentucky’s Congressional leaders’ continued support of the CDBG program ensures the availability of continued funding in Kentucky and nationally.
ARC partners with federal, state and local governments in an effort to support sustainable community and economic growth throughout Appalachia by funding projects that range from education and job training to housing and business expansion to transportation and infrastructure development.