Grambling State University has been awarded a $20,000 grant from the Home Depot Retool Your School Program. As one of 10 winners in the first cluster, funds will be used to enhance lighting and communal spaces on campus.
HBCU students, alumni, and advocates were encouraged to cast votes for the HBCU of their choice until March 15. HBCUs were separated into three clusters based on student population. The top ten schools with the most votes per cluster will receive grants ranging from $20,000 to $75,000. Additionally, the Campaign of the Year award of $45,000 was presented to the school whose campaign proved to be particularly effective for galvanizing its community to drive votes for the program.
“Thanks to our students, alumni, supporters, and the investment from Home Depot’s Retool Your School Program, we will be able to adapt campus spaces to be more reflective of the realities associated with COVID-19,” said Gourjoine Wade, GSU associate vice president of student affairs and dean of students. “This year’s $20,000 grant award combined with last year’s $50,000 award will allow us to enhance existing social, academic, and green spaces to incorporate recommended social distancing in regards to public spaces in Carver Hall, The Tiger Den, and prominent outdoor areas around the campus. This is a significant investment and support towards the student experience here at Grambling.”
By installing energy-efficient lighting that will illuminate interior common areas and exterior green spaces, students, faculty, staff, and community members can study, research, engage, and interact within appropriate safe distances. The project will also include Installing modern, sustainable furnishings that can be easily distanced apart and give students adequate, safe, and comfortable areas to support their social and emotional well-being.
“Since 2009, The Home Depot has continued to increase its investment in campus improvements for HBCUs,” said The Home Depot’s Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer Derek Bottoms in a press release. “We are ensuring HBCU students have an upgraded environment that enhances their educational experience as they progress on their journey to become the next generation of leaders.”
Current plans call for the Retool Project at Grambling State University to begin this summer with a goal of completion before students return in August.