Governor Mark Warner announced today (01-16-04) that the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has awarded a Transportation Enhancement grant of $230,000 to improve public access to the Robert R. Moton Museum in Farmville. The governor was in Farmville to accompany the federal Brown v. Board 50th Anniversary Commission on its visit to Prince Edward County, the site of one of the five suits involved in the Supreme Court’s historic Brown decision in 1954, ruling segregated public schools unconstitutional.
The Transportation Enhancement Program is funded by the federal Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), but those federal funds are channeled through state transportation agencies, which decide which projects to fund. The Moton grant application was written, and the grant is being administered, by the Piedmont Planning District Commission (PPDC) on behalf of the Museum.
When 20 percent of the grant’s $230,000 is matched by other funds raised by the Museum, the total of $276,000 will pay for seven items designed to make the Moton Museum more easily accessible to travelers by car, bicycle, or foot. It will
– add parking spaces at the Museum;
– install new walks and landscape the area;
– install bicycle racks;
– design and produce brochures for walking and bicycling tours, including a walking tour of sites associated
– with the Civil Rights Movement in Farmville;
– install interior and exterior kiosks which will provide literature for people wanting to take such tours, or the multi-county Civil Rights in Education Heritage Trail (by car), or other nearby walking and bicycling tours;
– install interior and exterior drinking fountains; and
– renovate the second restroom at the Moton Museum.
Carl U. Eggleston, president of the board of directors of the Museum, expressed gratitude to Congress for the funding, to VDOT for the award, to the PPDC for its work on behalf of the Museum, and to Governor Warner for coming to Farmville to tour the Museum and announce the grant. “Now that the Save America’s Treasures grant has begun the restoration of the Moton building,” he said, “these funds will make it easier for tourists to visit the Museum and the whole Civil Rights in Education Heritage Trail, which the Moton Museum is the anchor of. It’s another step forward for the development of the Museum, another chance to tell the Prince Edward story to people from throughout the Commonwealth and the nation, and further progress for economic development in this area. We are confident that the visitor count to the Moton Museum will continue to rise.”