FVSU Awarded $470,000 to Enhance Preservation of the Historic LeRoy Bywaters Building

Grant will be used primarily for infrastructure enhancements

Aug. 29, 2018

For immediate release
August 29, 2018

Fort Valley, GA— Fort Valley State University today announced its designation for a $470,000 award  to enhance preservation of the historic Leroy Bywaters building on its campus. The grant is funded through the Historic Preservation Fund and administered by the National Park Service (NPS). The building is currently home to the university’s Department of Business and Economics, TRiO offices, and campus police department. The grant will largely be used for infrastructure improvements.

“This is an exciting time at FVSU, as we continue to look for innovative ways to transform how our students learn,” said Dr. T. Ramon Stuart, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “By securing these funds, we can start to provide much-needed upgrades to the historic Bywaters Building, where future business leaders are earning degrees in the fields the nation needs most, including supply chain management.”

The grant is a portion of $8.6 million in awards to historically black colleges and universities announced by the National Park Service this week. Projects include pre-preservation studies, architectural plans and specifications, historic structure reports, and the repair and rehabilitation of historic properties. Other projects receiving funding include Howard University’s Founders Library, Biddle Memorial Hall at Johnson C. Smith University, and the chapel at Saint Augustine University.

The historic FVSU quadrangle is an inspirational part of Georgia’s heritage and a source of pride. Multiple enhancements have been made to preserve and upgrade structures in FVSU’s historic quadrangle, including new computer labs in Hunt Memorial Library and Founders Hall, a complete renovation of Patton Hall, home to the music department, and restoration of a memorial and fountain on the lawn. Bishop Hall, home to the media studies department, will soon open with state-of-the-art production facilities including a television and radio studio.

The quadrangle was the original footprint of the institution, home to it’s original academic and living spaces. Original construction for the Bywaters Building was completed in 1952 and initially housed the Henry Hunt Memorial Library. It was renovated in 1979 and has at times housed the Office of Institutional Research, Office of External Affairs, the Farm and Community Life Center, and a computer lab. It is named for Jean LeRoy Bywaters, a beloved comptroller FVSU comptroller, coach, and secretary to the board of trustees whose 46 year career at the school began when it was still Fort Valley High and Industrial School. Upon his 1965 retirement, he was named comptroller emeritus by the University System of Georgia Board of Regents.

Watch: NBC 41WMGT- FVSU Set to Receive Grant Money to Renovate Historic Building

More information about the grant can be found here.