Cultural commission awards $3M in restoration, preservation grants |

Cultural commission awards $3M in restoration, preservation grants

Grants totaling $3 million for historic and cultural restoration and preservation projects around the state were awarded to 27 projects by the Nevada Commission for Cultural Affairs.

The grants program began in 1993 using $20 million in bonds funded by the Legislature. When that program expired, lawmakers authorized another $30 million in bonds in 2005 to be disbursed over a 10-year period.

Historic Preservation Officer Ron James said among the grants are funds for Storey, Douglas and Churchill counties. The Churchill Arts Council received $173,000 to complete restoration work on the basement of the Oak Park School.

Storey County’s Fourth Ward School voluntarily reduced its request after receiving a large grant from a private foundation. That grant will pay for storm windows throughout the historic school. The commission awarded the school $24,000 for other projects this year.

Piper’s Opera House received a substantial award to continue restoration work – $200,000. Both the school and the opera house have been regular recipients of the annual awards.

Douglas County’s Historical Society was awarded $36,000 to continue work on the former high school now serving as the cultural and historic center.

Mineral County received two awards. The Historic Preservation Foundation was awarded $80,000 to continue work on the old courthouse and the Council on the Arts received $45,000 for work on the Sixth Street School.

Two of the largest awards went to the White Pine Historical Railroad Foundation which received $191,000 and $180,000 for projects that include modernizing and installing power, sewer and other utilities to the railroad complex.

James said that complex, with more than 50 buildings in East Ely, is up for recognition as a National Historical Landmark in April.

And the Lander County Historical Society received $103,000 to work on the Marvel Ranch Cookhouse which is being turned into an interpretive center on ranching history and culture in Battle Mountain.

This is the 13th year the commission has made the awards and James said the effect is especially visible in rural communities. He said some $24 million in state money has been awarded to more than 70 cultural projects. But he said local and other funds have more than doubled the total investment in those historic resources.

— Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at or 687-8750.