Congressman Clyburn introduces bill to reauthorize the HBCU Historic Preservation Program

Jan 13, 2015

(Columbia, SC) –South Carolina Congressman James E. Clyburn introduced H.R. 295 today which would reauthorize the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Historic Preservation Program. 

In 1998 the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) conducted a study to identify historic sites and buildings on the campuses of America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and determine the cost of preserving and protecting those sites and buildings.  The GAO indentified 712 historic sites and buildings that were of historic significances and determined that it would require $755 million to successfully restore and preserve them.  Congress responded by authorizing and appropriating funds to implement the program. 

In the 6th Congressional District, historic buildings at Allen, Claflin, and South Carolina State Universities, and Voorhees and Benedict Colleges have been successfully restored.  To date, 59 institutions in 20 different states have benefitted from the program.  However, authorization for this program has expired, and no funds have been appropriated since the Recovery Act in 2009.

“I look forward to continuing my work with HBCUs in South Carolina and around the country to revive this successful effort to celebrate our heritage and strengthen our communities,” Congressman Clyburn said.  “The structures on these campuses across the country are living testaments to African American history and deserve to be stabilized and restored.  I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress to preserve our nation’s history.”