Prowers County and Lamar Community College Team Up to Create Jobs

Prowers County’s historic Welfare Housing complex will be restored with funds from the Colorado State Historical Fund. The project will give the site new life for a multitude of uses and job expansion.

Lamar Community College has received a $365,705 grant award from the Colorado Historical Society, State Historical Fund to rehabilitate the historic Prowers County Welfare Housing site located in Lamar.

The grant is part of the State Historical Fund’s Special Initiatives Program that targets the rehabilitation of historic resources as engines of economic development in rural communities. According to Robert W. Ogle, LCC’s dean of Career and Technical Education, “the grant funds will be leveraged for a total capital infusion of $500,000. The project is expected to generate sustainable economic impact in terms of job creation, household income, and tax revenues from heritage tourism, small business incubation, and trades skills training and education. The overarching goal for the project is to preserve the architectural and cultural meaning of this significant site and realize a positive economic impact.”

The Prowers County Welfare Housing complex represents the only remaining welfare housing constructed by the Works Progress Administration during the Great Depression in Colorado. The five building complex was completed in phases from 1938 to 1941. The site gained national recognition when it was accepted for listing in the National Register of Historic Places in 2009.

This project is a collaborative effort that will bring national attention and investment to the region. Ogle added, “the vision for this project could not have become reality without the continued support of Prowers County, the City of Lamar, Lamar Chamber of Commerce, Voces Unidas, the National Park Service, and the many private citizens and business owners in our communities who understand the inherent value of our historic resources and how they can contribute to economic vitality and our collective quality of life.”

The project is expected to begin in March of 2011 and take approximately twelve months to complete.

For more information, contact Robert Ogle at 336.1526 or Robert.Ogle@lamarcc.edu.

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