$1.25 Million for Housing and Community Development in Southern Maryland - Southern Maryland Headline News

$1.25 Million for Housing and Community Development in Southern Maryland


Hoyer Secures Funds for Brick Chapel, Charles County Minority Business Center, and St. Mary's College

Congressman Steny Hoyer announced that significant federal funds for programs that will benefit Southern Maryland were included in the FY 2006 Transportation, Treasury, and Housing and Urban Development, the Judiciary, District of Columbia Appropriations Conference Report, passed today by the House of Representatives. Rep. Hoyer, the only member of the Appropriations Committee from Maryland, took a lead role in securing the funding for these important projects during consideration of the bill.

"I am pleased that this conference report included crucial funding for the Brick Chapel," Hoyer said. "The reconstruction of this landmark will continue the efforts to celebrate the significance of Historic St. Mary's City in Maryland's rich history. I am proud to have secured $1 million for this project since 2003.

"Furthermore, I am pleased to fund the Ministers Alliance of Charles County's Minority Business Center," Hoyer said. "This will help foster the growth and creation of minority-owned businesses in Southern Maryland, spurring the best and brightest minds in our own community to take risk and improve life here," Hoyer added. "I can think of no better way to bring to young minority entrepreneurs the tools and resources they will need for success than through the Minority Business Center."

"Finally, the technology and laboratory funds designated for St. Mary's College of Maryland will make an outstanding academic institution and source of pride for southern Maryland even better. Nearly 50% of the graduates from St. Mary's College pursue advanced degrees and go on to careers in research and development. Providing undergraduates the most up-to-date technology will help grow our regional economy and strengthen national security, as many St. Mary's College graduates go on to careers at Patuxent River Naval Air Station."

Congressman Hoyer helped secure funding for the following list of programs that will benefit Southern Maryland.

Brick Chapel Reconstruction in Historic St. Mary's City, MD, $500,000

In 2007, the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History will mark the 400th anniversary of English settlement in the Chesapeake with a major exhibit focused on the colonists who founded Jamestown, Virginia and St. Mary's City, Maryland. Hundreds of Maryland's early settlers, including Governors Leonard and Philip Calvert, were buried in and around the 1667 Brick Chapel at St. Mary's, which is being reconstructed as a memorial to Maryland's pioneering experiment in religious freedom and the separation of church and state. These funds will be used to install windows, doors, paving stones, interior furnishings and a glass-covered crypt over lead coffins containing the remains of Calvert family members. Hoyer has helped secured $1 million for this project over the last three fiscal years.

According to Martin Sullivan, director of Historic St. Mary's City, "Congressman Hoyer's leadership will enable us to accelerate the completion of this remarkable structure on the same schedule as the Smithsonian's exhibit, and it matches many generous gifts from private donors who share our pride in Maryland's heritage and legacy."

Ministers Alliance of Charles County, $275,000

These funds will be used to acquire and renovate a 1791 square foot building to expand the Minority Business Center. The space identified for expansion is within walking distance of the current facility. The Minority Business Center was created to catalyze minority business growth in Charles County. The expanded facility will provide one stop space to accommodate the current and upcoming businesses as the complex continues to educate, train, and inform minority entrepreneurs.

Pastor Willie Hunt, President of Ministers Alliance said: "On behalf of the Ministers Alliance, we are extremely grateful for the support Congressman Hoyer has lent minority businesses in Southern Maryland through the introduction and approval of this funding. This money will help educate, train, and provide technology to minority businesses that are looking to expand or just get up and running."

St. Mary's College, $225,000

St. Mary's College of Maryland, the state's honors college, will use these funds to purchase scientific equipment for its new academic building that is currently under construction. The building is named for General Andrew J. Goodpaster (deceased) who provided twelve years of trustee service to the College. General Goodpaster was the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe under President Eisenhower, and his leadership on the St. Mary's Board was critical to the development of its unique honors college model.

College President Jane Margaret O'Brien notes: "This important federal support makes it possible for St. Mary's College to continue the development of its strong undergraduate program in the sciences which among other things contributes to the dynamic workforce needs of the Southern Maryland region."

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