SPENCER, Tenn., Nov 15, 2010 -- Students and teachers in Van Buren County will soon have two new resources to expand learning opportunities thanks to a partnership between USDA Rural Development (RD) and Van Buren County schools.
RD Cookeville Area Director Jerry Jolley and Van Buren County Director of Schools Mike Martin today broke ground on an addition to Van Buren County High School as well as an adjacent building to be used for educational and community events. The ground breaking took place at the construction site.
"Education is the cornerstone of economic development," said Jolley. "This investment expands educational opportunities by building facilities with the tools educators need in today's competitive world and it adds a valuable new asset for community development here in Spencer."
According to Martin, the $1,882,200 low-interest RD loan will be combined with $104,100 in funds from the school district to construct the new facilities. The addition to the school will create needed space for after school activities as well as provide students with a virtual classroom to connect them to learning opportunities around the world. The new community building built nearby will provide space for school functions as well as community events, training sessions and meetings.
Rural Development community programs finance construction or improvements to essential services like reliable access to clean water, wastewater treatment, healthcare, education, job training and first responder facilities. Loan-guarantees encourage private lenders to expand the availability of affordable financing in rural communities. Direct loans and grants create sound financial opportunities for local governments to meet essential infrastructure needs.
Others participating in the event included Rep. Lincoln Davis' Representative Justin Walling, State Sen. Eric Stewart, State Rep. Bill Harmon, Van Buren School Board members and RD Program Specialist Chris Hampton.
USDA Rural Development invests in jobs, infrastructure, homeownership and affordable rental housing in rural communities. With supplemental funding through the Recovery Act, the agency assisted more than 1.5 million Tennessee families and businesses with more than $1.3 billion in financial assistance through affordable loans, loan guarantees and grants. More than 86 percent of these investments will be paid back with interest. The rest is at work creating jobs, broadening the local tax base and increasing opportunities in education, training, healthcare and public safety.
For more information on Rural Development programs available in Van Buren County contact the Rural Development Area Office in Cookeville at 931-528-6539 ext. 2, toll free at 1-800-342-3149 extension 1493, or visit us online at www.rurdev.usda.gov/tn.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA,
Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410,
or call (800) 795-3272 TDD (615) 783-1397.