THC prepares new round of courthouse preservations

AUSTIN—With a $4.2 million appropriation from the 83rd Texas Legislature, the Texas Historical Commission ( THC) will begin accepting applications for Round VIII of its award-winning Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program (THCPP).

The limited funding for Round VIII grants wi ll be focused on funding smal ler courthouse projects with urgent needs, unlike the full restorations that have been undertaken in the past.

The THC requested $20 million for the Round VIII grant cycle, but was appropriated only what remained in Proposition 4 bond funding.

Emergency grants awarded in Round VIII will address serious building deficiencies affecting usability, structural, and safety issues in historic county courthouses.

Since its inception in 1999, this nationally recognized program has distributed grant funds to fully restore 63 historic county courthouses in Texas, and an additional 20 counties have received smaller grants for emergency and planning work. The state has invested more than $250 million in this effort, and local governments have provided more than $150 million in matching funds.

Through this partnership, the THCPP has revitalized local landmarks, provided them with 21st Century standards, generated investment in local communities and businesses and reinvigorated historic downtowns while promoting heritage tourism.

Grant application forms will be posted on the THC website in November, and applications will be due in early 2014.

For counties that have not previously participated in the program, new preservation master plans must be submitted and approved by the end of 2013.

Projects will be selected in early 2014 with work to begin shortly thereafter. Applications will be scored on a point system.

For more information, contact the Architecture Division at 512- 463-6094.

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