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Livingstone a finalist for Home Depot grant competition

Livingstone College News Service

Livingstone College has been announced as a finalist in The Home Depot’s 2015 Retool Your School Campus Improvement Grant Program. Designed to reinvigorate Historically Black Colleges and Universities, finalists are competing for $255,000 in grants for on-campus improvements and are now asking their communities and the public to help them win.

The voting campaign launched Feb. 27 and ends April 20. During this period, supporters can visit www.retoolyourschool.com to vote. Supporters can also capture votes for Livingstone by using #Livingstone_RYS15 on their social media channels including Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Each use of a school’s Retool Your School designated hashtag counts as one social media vote.

This year, the Retool Your School Grant Program will use a new grant structure which will award grants to nine accredited HBCUs in $50,000, $25,000 and $10,000 grant amounts. Based on student enrollment, schools will be categorized into one of three clusters — schools with 4,000 students or more, schools with between 3,999 and 1,201 students, or schools with less than 1,200 students.

Following the online vote, a panel of judges will also evaluate each school’s project proposals within the qualifying clusters. Judges will consider the depth of each proposal and the school’s ability to execute the project within the respective budgets of $50,000, $25,000 or $10,000, as applicable.

Proposals for all three grants must highlight how each project will make a lasting, positive impact on the HBCU campus. The Home Depot will announce the grant recipients around May 12.

“The Home Depot Retool Your School contest is a great way to show school pride and school spirit while doing something that could help bring some much-needed improvements to our campus,” said Livingstone College President Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins Sr. “And given how easy it is to vote, there’s absolutely no reason why every Livingstone College student, professor, staff member, alumni and anyone else who wants to support the college can’t vote once a day for the next 40 days and help Livingstone win.”

To apply for the Retool Your School grants, HBCUs were required to submit an application via the “Retool Your School” website by Feb. 10. Applicants that provided their Phase 1 proposals by the deadline were able to continue and submit full proposals for Tier I, Tier II and Campus Pride campus improvement grants.

Livingstone College will face competition from finalist schools elsewhere in North Carolina and 15 other states, as well as the U.S. Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia.

Some of the potential improvement projects entered by the HBCU finalists include projects that will affect the campus and community as a whole, such as installing campus-wide lighting to help to conserve energy and reduce utility expense; building an on-campus sustainable community raised bed garden and farmers market; remodeling a lower level alumni library and installing eco-friendly bathrooms and external landscaping; and transforming an outdoor campus area into an outdoor classroom. These proposed improvement projects will enhance campus life for current students and generations to come.

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