Lieberman to Sponsor Clyburn's HBCU Preservation Bill in the Senate

Apr 15, 2002 Issues: Congressional Issues, Education

(Columbia, SC) -Connecticut Senator and former Vice Presidential candidate, Joseph Lieberman, announced in Columbia today that he will fight for Sixth District Congressman James E. Clyburn's bill to help finance the preservation of identified historic structures at the nation's 103 historically black colleges and universities.  Senator Lieberman made his announcement in a speech on higher education at Allen University.

            "I admire the great work that Representative Clyburn has been doing in the House of Representatives to help historically black colleges like [Allen University] save and restore historic sites on their campuses.  Thanks to his leadership, Allen got the $2 million it needed to restore Arnett Hall - which as you know had been boarded up for 50 years.  Such precious pieces of America's proud heritage of equal opportunity deserve to be preserved,"  Senator Lieberman said.  "That is why today I want to announce that I will introduce in the Senate a version of Representative Clyburn's bill, which would authorize [federal funding] to preserve and restore buildings on Historically Black College campuses eligible for listing on the National Registry of Historic Places."

            In 1997, Congressman Clyburn worked with the General Accounting Office to conduct a study of all HBCU historic properties across America.  After surveying all 103 campuses, the GAO identified 712 historic structures at HBCU institutions. Of those, 323 properties are already on the National Register of Historic Places maintained by the National Park Service.  Congressman Clyburn introduced HR 1606 this year seeking federal authorization to pay for 70% of restoration costs of these structures.  The colleges and universities will be required to raise the 30% matching funds.

            "I appreciate the support of Senator Lieberman, and hope that his Senate colleagues will share his enthusiasm for this legislation,"  Congressman Clyburn said.  "The bill has received a very positive reception in the House, and I am hopeful with strong support in the Senate, we will be able to realize the dream of restoring the extraordinary legacy found on our country's historically black college and university campuses."

   In 1996, Congressman Clyburn secured passage of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Preservation Program, which authorized the National Parks Service to spend $29 million to renovate and preserve historic structures on these campuses.  Allen University, Voorhees College in Denmark, and Claflin College in Orangeburg all received funding for refurbishing projects in that first round.