(June 26 | MENA, Ark.) – The University of Arkansas received a grant of $237,000 from the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council (ANCRC) at its meeting on Wednesday, June 3. The grant will be used for continued renovations at the Historic Armory located on DeQueen Street in Mena.

The council distributed $27.3 million to 23 projects that will restore and protect state-owned lands and property.

“All credit to the talents and perseverance of Dr. Diann Gathright,” said UARM Chancellor Dr. Phillip Wilson. “When she commits to doing a project, nothing can stop her! We are genuinely appreciative of the continued dollars from the ANCRC for this project. They have been extremely generous to the Mena community time and again. Our community is the benefactor of their vision to preserve crucial assets in Arkansas.”

Bids will be advertised mid-July for the remainder of the project with the a scheduled completion date of January 2021.

The ANCRC also approved an extension of $154,644 from a previously awarded grant for the same project that allowed the college to fully restore the roof and repair exterior doors. Leaks had added to the deterioration of the facility. Now, with the additional grant, the floors can be restored along with restoring the exterior, painting the interior, and refurbishing kitchen equipment.

Stacy Hurst, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism, who serves as secretary of the ANCRC said, “The ANCRC Trust Fund has funded over $400 million in projects since its first grants were made in 1989. Many well-loved buildings and properties have been saved for future generations by the fund, and we are a better state for it.”

ANCRC has funded the restoration and preservation of such iconic properties as the Arkansas State Capitol, Old Main on the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville campus, Lakeport Plantation in Chicot County and the Johnny Cash Home in Dyess.

The Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council (ANCRC) was established by Arkansas Act 729 of 1987. Its grants and trust fund are managed for the acquisition, management and stewardship of state-owned lands, or the preservation of state-owned historic sites, buildings, structures or objects which the ANCRC determines to be of value for recreation or conservation purposes. The properties are to be used, preserved and conserved for the benefit of present and future generations.

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