Grambling State University’s first lady encourages Gramblinites and northern Louisiana residents to vote as the university competes for up to $50,000 in campus beautification grants in national Home Depot campus improvement grant program for HBCUs
GRAMBLING, LA – Grambling State University is one of 75 Historically Black College and University (HBCU) institutions competing as a finalist in The Home Depot’s 2013 RETOOL YOUR SCHOOL campus improvement grant program. First Lady Dorothy Pogue, a huge campus beautification advocate, is rallying all Grambling State supporters, asking everyone to vote daily as she does.
“Grambling State University continues to work to have its campus beauty match the pride of all Gramblinites,” said Dorothy Pogue, wife of President Frank G. Pogue. “I strongly encourage all Grambling State University alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends to vote online and to vote daily, as I do.”
Mrs. Pogue said though she’s not active on Facebook and Twitter, she knows that posting on those social media sites, and others, every day will help the Black and Gold school win. She reminds all to include “#GramFam” and “#gramblingRYS2013” whenever posting or tweeting.
“We have several really exciting projects that we will use the grant for if we win,” said Ante’ Britten, associate vice president of finance & administration at Grambling State University. “Areas such as Charles P. Adams Park, Eddie G. Robinson Football Stadium and Jacob T. Stewart will be revitalized with the help of Home Depot and the Grambling family.”
President Pogue praised Britten and the facilities team for well-prepared beautification project proposals. “The university’s facilities team does an amazing job with limited resource,” he said. “They never stopping working to figure out how to improve the look and feel of our campuses, and these proposals are a great example of the kind of work they continue to do.”
Designed to reinvigorate HBCUs, finalists are competing for $225,000 in grants for on-campus improvements and Grambling State is asking alumni and all northern Louisiana communities to help the university win. Through 11:59 p.m. on April 15, Grambling State University supporters can visit www.retoolyourschool.com to vote for Grambling State to win:
(a) a $50,000 Tier 1 major grant, OR
(b) one of twelve Tier 2 $10,000 minor grants, OR
(c) the one $25,000 Campus Pride grant, awarded for the most online votes and social media activity, as determined by The Home Depot.
The Home Depot® will announce the winners on May 3, and Grambling State University wants to be one of the big winners.
The university’s Tier I project pitch for the $50,000 grant is an exterior painting and waterproofing of Jacob T. Stewart Building. The 78,159-square-foot classroom and office building in on the most traveled
street on campus. After several beautification efforts in recent years, Stewart is the only building with an unattractive appearance on this main street. If chosen, the university will pressure wash the building, replace caulk, fill rust holes, repair or replace broken cast stone, replace rotted wood and apply waterproofing consistent with federal guidelines in about 120 days.
The Tier II project proposed is a $10,000 upgrade of the Charles P. Adams Park on the western Quad. Dedicated in honor of the university’s founder, this is the only park on campus but cost cutting has caused disrepair and a lack of use. If Home Depot selects Grambling State for this project, the university will take about 90 days to upgrade bathroom facilities, convert the existing metal structure, plant some cypress trees, install new screening, renovate the foundation and install outdoor area lighting so students can use the park after dusk.
HOME DEPOT REQUIREMENTS
To apply for the Retool Your School grants, Grambling State University and the other HBCUs were required to submit letters of intent that included brief descriptions of their potential projects via the “Retool Your School” website in February. Applicants that provided their Phase 1 proposals by the deadline were able to continue and submit full proposals for Tier I, Tier II and Campus Pride campus improvement grants. Grambling State University has submitted proposals for Tier I and Tier II.
During the online voting period, now underway, consumers can view descriptions of project proposals and can cast one vote per day for Grambling State University. Following the online vote, a panel of distinguished judges will evaluate each proposal.
WEBSITE/SOCIAL MEDIA VOTING
Tier I and Tier II projects will be judged based on the number of votes posted to the website, as well as the judges’ evaluation of the relevance to the proposal requirements as listed on the website and application. Entrants must highlight how each project will make a lasting, positive impact on their campus. Special attention will be given to schools that pitch eco-friendly plans. The winning schools will be determined based on a combination of online votes and the judges’ evaluations. The awarding of the Campus Pride grant will be based on the number of votes and social media activity the winning school receives.
Grambling State University faces stiff competition from finalist schools in Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. To support Grambling State University win one of these beautification grants, alumni, friends and family are asked to log on and vote at www.retoolyourschool.com to ensure that the Fighting Tigers bring home the grand prize. Though the institution has been mostly in the middle of the voting online and on social media, Mrs. Pogue and Britten said they are certain that Gramblinites, #GramFam friends and supporters can overcome the odds by voting online daily and by using the Grambling-speciific hashtag — #gramblingRYS2013 – whenever they post on social media, especially when Tweeting on Twitter.
Some of the potential improvement projects entered by the HBCU finalists include projects that will affect the campus and community as a whole, such as installing eco-friendly bathrooms, adding wheelchair ramps and automatic access doors, creating sustainable landscaping projects, replacing windows with Energy Star rated fixtures, installing solar energy systems and motion sensors to reduce electric consumption in classrooms, starting community gardens and campus greenhouses to encourage healthy eating, and creating nature trails accessible to the surrounding community as a fit living initiative. Each of the proposed improvement projects will enhance campus life for current students and generations to come.
For more information and updates on The Home Depot “Retool Your School” grant program or to vote online visit www.retoolyourschool.com. Online voting continues through April 15, 2013, at 10:59 pm CDT, 11:59 p.m. EDT.