U.S. House Passes Spanberger Legislation to Provide $200,000 for Development of Historic Carver Center in Culpeper County into Rural Community Education Campus

Jul 29, 2021
Local Issues
Press

The House-Passed Funding Would Fund the Roof Replacement Necessary to Continue Development of Cultural, Agricultural, and Vocational Education Campus

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. House of Representatives today voted to pass U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger’s legislation that would provide $200,000 for the roof replacement of the Carver Center, previously George Washington Carver Regional High School, in Culpeper County. The roof replacement is integral in the continued development of the Carver Center into a rural community education campus.

The funding for Culpeper County — which Spanberger successfully secured as part of a House-passed fiscal year (FY) 2022 appropriations package — would allow for the addition of a food processing center within the campus that includes a commercial kitchen for educational use and small business operations, providing the support necessary to assist with the financial sustainability of small and medium-sized local farms and food businesses. Additionally, this funding would allow the Carver Center to continue serving the community in reducing unemployment and poverty, strengthening the local food system, reducing the loss of farmland, and improving the local economy.

“The Carver Center is already serving the Culpeper community, supporting education and agriculture, growing hundreds of pounds of food to be donated to the local food bank, as well as educating future generations of the history and inequities of segregation. This project, in developing a regional education campus, stands to benefit local agriculture producers, food banks, businesses, and local residents,” said Spanberger. “I am proud to have worked directly with local leaders in Culpeper County to secure this funding for the Carver Center, and I thank each of these officials for their vision, leadership, and commitment to supporting our rural communities. Since coming to Congress, I have been focused on bringing federal resources home to Central Virginia’s communities, and I am encouraged that the $200,000 allocated to this project was passed today in the U.S. House. I will continue working to move this funding forward through the U.S. Senate and to President Biden’s desk to be signed into law.”

“As an integral component of the Carver Center, we continue to support education through our scholarship program, and we avidly promote and preserve history through our 4-County Museum within the building. Our museum commemorates the origin and impact of the structure which served as the only high school available to African American students in a four-county region during the era of segregation in Virginia from 1948-1968,” said Reverend Frank D. Lewis Sr., Chairman, George Washington Carver Regional High School Alumni Association, Inc. “The roof’s replacement will further ensure the preservation of this historical institution which has great significance to hundreds of alumni, their families and the African American communities in particular of Culpeper, Orange, Madison, and Rappahannock counties. Making the Carver Center a vibrant, community forward facility is widely supported by George Washington Carver Regional High School Alumni Association, Inc.”

“On behalf of the Culpeper County Board of Supervisors I wish to share my deepest appreciation for the consideration of Community Project Funding for the Carver Center. The Carver Center’s revitalization as a cultural, agricultural, and vocational education campus is incredibly important to our community,” said Gary Deal, Chairman, Culpeper County Board of Supervisors. “Support of this project will improve an iconic community facility and provide educational opportunities for the residents of not only Culpeper County, but the entire region. Additionally, I would like to thank the George Washington Carver Regional High School Alumni Association and 4-County Museum for their dedicated effort to ensure the legacy of the Carver Center through education and community outreach.”

The Carver Center operated as the regional high school for African American students until 1968 and continues to serve the Culpeper community and surrounding communities by housing vocational training, agricultural education programs, and a museum dedicated to educating the public on the inequities of segregation.

The FY2022 appropriations package now goes to the U.S. Senate for further consideration.

BACKGROUND

This year, the U.S. House of Representatives implemented a new effort as part of its annual appropriations process, which allowed for specific Community Project Funding requests — like the Carver Center roof replacement project. Spanberger worked directly with community leaders in all ten counties of the Seventh District to gather community-focused requests for her submissions. Click here for a full list of her submissions.

The Community Project Funding process was created to ensure that Members of Congress, in concert with the communities they represent, may submit direct applications for federal funding to support locally planned projects as part of the yearly appropriations process. To be eligible, projects must be sponsored by local or state government entities or non-profit organizations and must be projects that would otherwise meet the qualifications to apply for federal grant funding. The purpose of Community Project Funding is to ensure direct, local engagement as part of the federal appropriations process. In line with this goal, funding applications must demonstrate significant local support for the projects. 

Spanberger has consistently worked to secure funding for Central Virginia projects that would create new jobs, make infrastructure improvements, and strengthen the local economy. Recently, she joined a bipartisan majority of the U.S. House in voting to pass the INVEST in America Act, which includes more than $22.7 million in federal resources for Central Virginia transportation and infrastructure projects that Spanberger successfully secured in the legislation.

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