On June 2, the Champaign County Historical Society’s (CCHS) Board of Trustees received notice that its two Ohio Cultural Facilities grant requests totaling $600,000 were approved by the State of Ohio Legislature during its bi-annual Capital Budgeting process. To access these funds, CCHS must raise $300,000 (50% of grant total) by June 30, 2024.
As background, CCHS was awarded a $300,000 grant in December 2020, but it was due to expire on June 30, 2022; therefore, a reappropriation request was made along with an additional request in 2022. The original grant and the new grant application were formally, by resolution, supported by the Champaign County Commissioners (owners of the property) and all cities and village councils throughout the county. This support was followed by Ohio State Senator Matt Huffman (12th District), State Representatives Nino Vitale (85th District) and Jon Cross (83rd District), successfully championing and shepherding the application request through the Capital Budget process.
The grants and private funds raised will be used to expand and renovate the existing facility to enable it to display a greater percentage of its current collection and create new exhibits. In 2021, using internal funds, CCHS engaged a professional design/build firm to conduct a feasibility study to determine the cost of this endeavor.
The conceptual design generated from the study calls for a new Exhibit Gallery to present the rich history of agriculture and industry in Champaign County, a new multi-purpose building to conduct history-related programs and to host internal and public events, reconfiguring the collections management space, and enhancing the building’s exterior and parking lot. The preliminary cost estimate for the foregoing is $2.4 million.
A Capital Campaign will soon be launched to raise the matching funds necessary to access the $600,000 grant funds and cover to-be-negotiated construction costs. Additional grants will also be pursued.
Info from CCHS