Two N.C. A&T Campus Landmarks Receive National Park Service Grants

By Jackie Torok / 07/12/2022 Business and Finance

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (July 12, 2022) – North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University’s World War Memorial Stadium and Vanstory Hall have each received a $500,000 grant from the National Park Service (NPS) to offset rehabilitation costs.

The funds are a portion of $9.7 million the service awarded to help 21 preservation projects in nine states for historic structures on the campuses of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

“For more than 180 years, historically Black colleges and universities have provided high-level academics, opportunities, and community for generations of students,” said NPS Director Chuck Sams. “These grants enable HBCUs to preserve the noteworthy structures that honor the past and tell the ongoing story of these historic institutions.”

Funds for World War Memorial Stadium will be used to repair the structural concrete seating deck and install new seating, as well as the addition of Americans with Disabilities Act-accessible seating and other safety devices.

The stadium, built in 1926 on Yanceyville Street as a monument to local soldiers who died in World War I, is the oldest minor-league ballpark in North Carolina. N.C. A&T’s baseball team began playing there in the 1930s and still plays there today.

By 1930, the stadium had become home to the city’s minor-league baseball operations, whose teams continued playing there through the years until the city’s new stadium opened in 2005. The Greensboro Red Wings, a Negro League team, also played at the stadium in the late 1940s.

Generations of the A&T football family packed World War Memorial Stadium each year for homecoming and other football games until Aggie Stadium – now called Truist Stadium – opened in 1981.

The university purchased World War Memorial Stadium and its grounds, which include tennis courts and a student commuter lot, from the City of Greensboro in spring 2015 for about $2.5 million. Ownership was officially transferred in February 2022.

Plans are under way to make $5 million to $6 million in improvements to the stadium such as new locker rooms, restrooms, press box and seating up to 1,000 fans, with city officials contributing $1.5 million to these efforts.

The renovation also will preserve the stadium’s distinctive pylons – the three-arch entrance designed by architects Harry Barton and Leonard White in a classical Modern style.

Vanstory HallFunds for Vanstory Hall will be used to bring the residential structure up to date.

Located on North Dudley Street, Vanstory Hall was built in 1967 and offers single and double occupancy on three floors for up to 230 female first-year residents. It was named for former North Carolinian C.M. Vanstory, who served on the A&T Board of Trustees.

Since the 1990s, the NPS has awarded more than $87 million in grants to more than 85 of the remaining active HBCUs. Accredited HBCUs are eligible to apply for this grant program, and eligible projects include physical preservation of sites listed in or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

HBCU grants can also fund pre-preservation studies, architectural plans and specifications, historic structure reports, campus preservation plans, and National Register nominations. All projects must follow the Secretary of the Interior's Standards and Guidelines for Archeology and Historic Preservation.

Congress appropriates funding for the program through the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF). The HPF uses revenue from federal oil and gas leases on the Outer Continental Shelf, providing assistance for a broad range of preservation projects without expending tax dollars.

Media Contact Information: jtorok@ncat.edu

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