Sept. 18, 2015
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – In the past 10 years, historic rehabilitation projects supported by the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) through state and federal funding and support have received about $17 million in grants and tax credits. Those projects translate into more than $120 million in construction expenditures and $192 million of economic impact to the state, according to a new study completed for the SHPO by the West Virginia University Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER).
A presentation of the recently completed study will be made at 2 p.m., on Wednesday, Sept. 30, in the Media Education Center at the Culture Center, State Capitol Complex in Charleston. The presentation is free and open to the public.
Dr. Eric Bowen, research associate for BBER, will present a summary of the findings at the presentation. He will be joined by Betsy Morris, staff member at historic Camp Caesar, Webster County. Camp Caesar is featured in one of the report’s case studies, and Morris will discuss how a development grant assisted with the restoration of the 4-H camp’s Council Circle, one of the key buildings at the camp. The camp was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2009.
“Historic preservation has a dynamic and important impact not only on the sites and buildings that are restored, but on the communities in which these projects take place,” said Susan Pierce, deputy state historic preservation officer. “This study confirms that rehabilitation of existing historic buildings makes a significant impact on our state’s economy and its economic development. We are pleased to be able to share the results with the public.”
The study examined the impact of two statewide historic rehabilitation programs: the historic preservation development grant program, which is funded by the West Virginia Legislature, and the historic rehabilitation tax credit program, which is authorized by the National Park Service. The study shows that these programs are catalysts for economic investment, while stabilizing and rehabilitating the historic resources of West Virginia.
The study was conducted by the BBER in conjunction with the Marshall University Center for Business and Economic Research and the University of Cincinnati Economics Center.
SHPO staff will be available at the presentation to discuss the tax credit and development grant program.
A reception will follow the presentation and discussion.
For more information about the presentation, contact Pierce at (304) 558-0240.
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is an agency within the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts with Kay Goodwin, Cabinet Secretary. The division, led by Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith, brings together the past, present and future through programs and services focusing on archives and history, arts, historic preservation and museums. For more information about the division’s programs, events and sites, visit www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.