News Releases

Murray Secures More Than $2 Million for Economic Development Projects

Sep 21 2004

Seattle, Toppenish, Spokane, Port Townsend all slated to receive funding

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray today announced she has secured $2.1 million in federal funding for Washington’s economic development initiative priorities. The money, which Murray secured in the Senate VA-HUD Appropriations bill, will address important infrastructure, cultural and educational needs throughout the state, including children and family centers, science and technology facilities, and arts and educational foundation projects. The Senate Appropriations Committee today passed the bill, and it now awaits action by the full Senate.

“By investing in our economic and cultural infrastructure, we are creating unique places for people to learn valuable new skills, for families and children to explore artistic talents and to pave the way for future economic growth,” said Senator Murray, a member of the Appropriations Committee. “Our state is facing tough challenges and these dollars will help improve our quality of life and increase educational and cultural opportunities.”

The Washington state funding included by Murray will be applied to projects that include the conversion of the Old Cooper School in West Seattle into an artist loft, the development of a Science & Technology Center in Toppenish, the construction of a Children and Family Center in Spokane, and a waterfront development project in Port Townsend.

A detailed list of the projects and funding levels follows:

The Old Cooper School, Delridge Neighborhood Association, West Seattle -- $500,000

The Cooper School is Delridge’s one Historic Register building, but it has been boarded up for a decade. The restoration of Cooper School will provide youth in the area and citywide with a Center focused on arts and cultural education. The facility will also house ArtsCorp, a cutting edge arts education program for low income families. Additionally, the Center will also house 36 low income artists in affordable live-work studios on its upper floors. These artists will be able to develop their artwork while maintaining affordable housing costs while contributing to the arts and activities of the Cultural Center.

Science & Technology Partnership Center, Heritage College, Toppenish -- $500,000

Heritage College currently teaches its science and health courses in deteriorating, second-hand portables, which cannot accommodate growing enrollment levels or state-of-the-art equipment. The funding for this project will help bring quality instructional and research opportunities to poor, predominantly ethnic-minority, bilingual individuals. This modern facility will provide skills, knowledge and research experiences required to develop local talent and qualify students for high-wage jobs, prepare them to create entrepreneurial small businesses, or ready them for graduate education.

Edmonds Center for the Arts, Edmonds, Snohomish County -- $300,000

The funding for this regional facility will enhance the cultural life of the greater region by providing a performing arts and multipurpose center for meetings, conferences, community and sporting events, musical theater and other educational exhibitions. In the broadest sense, the facility will enhance the cultural life of the greater region which includes an educational component benefiting all communities in the greater South Snohomish and North King County areas.

St. Anne’s Children and Family Center, Spokane -- $300,000

Partnering with Sacred Heart Medical Center and Gonzaga University, St. Anne’s is building a new childcare center in the University District at 5th and Browne. Increasing its capacity from 30 to 200 children, GU will schedule practicum, work study and service learning students at St. Anne’s. Additionally, SHMC will move their mildly-ill children program into St. Anne’s.

Northwest Maritime Center, Port Townsend -- $250,000

This project is designed to enhance the working waterfront of Port Townsend and to provide a focal point for economic and tourism development. This new center will showcase the regional significance and importance of the area’s marine trades and maritime activities. The NWMC facilities will provide conference areas, classrooms and hands-on shops for vocational training, lectures, workshops and continuing education for the marine trades professional. Additionally, the NWMC will offer visitors and residents a variety of heritage and visitor services, programs and activities.

Washington Public Ports Association, Olympia -- $250,000

Federal funding for this project will give many small ports across the state the chance for advanced training and the networking necessary to retain and attract businesses to the community. The funds will assist economic development in rural, distressed counties by helping to fund local redevelopment planning efforts for communities like Douglas and Klickitat counties and the Port of Anacortes.