Forbes secures federal funding for Suffolk

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 19, 2003

Staff report

More than $300,000 has been earmarked for Suffolk projects in the omnibus appropriations bill passed recently in the House of Representatives.

According to a press release from Rep. J. Randy Forbes (R-Va.), the bill included $202,500 to renovate the old Suffolk High School building into the Center for Cultural Arts.

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&uot;This historic building has long been a key landmark in the city,&uot; Forbes said. &uot;Federal funding will be used to restore this part of the City’s history and to provide space for community services.&uot;

The building was constructed in 1922 and remains a significant landmark of Suffolk’s early Twentieth Century prominence. It has been unoccupied since 1990, when the City built two new high schools to replace it, Forbes added.

Suffolk Mayor E. Dana Dickens III praised Forbes for his help in securing the funding.

&uot;The Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts is a key initiative in our Downtown Plan and we are fortunate to have a congressman so responsive to our local needs during these challenging times for our nation,&uot; Dickens said.

&uot;The Center for Cultural Arts will provide a much-needed cultural element for the residents of Suffolk,&uot; Forbes said. &uot;It will be used for special events and banquets, educational and cultural activities, meetings, a senior center, and a museum.&uot;

In addition, the Army Corps of Engineers will now be able to perform a reconnaissance study on the Great Dismal Swamp. An appropriation of $100,000 has been allotted to examine urban flooding; to review canal dredging with regard to flood control; and to reassess the replacement needs of the Deep Creek Bridge in Chesapeake.

&uot;This funding for both projects is wonderful news for the City of Suffolk, and for the entire Fourth District of Virginia,&uot; Forbes said.

&uot;We are very excited to receive this funding during the tough times we are in as a nation, and also amidst tight budgetary constraints wealth.&uot;