Gallia County receives $21.9 million in grants through Appalachian Community Grant Program

Gallia County receives $21.9 million in grants through Appalachian Community Grant Program

GALLIPOLIS, OHIO – Four individual projects in Gallia County have been selected by the Ohio Department of Development for a total of $21.9 million in grant funding through the Appalachian Community Grant Program. These projects span childcare, behavioral and mental health, community health, and downtown and riverfront development.

First announced by Governor Mike DeWine in the Summer of 2022, the Appalachian Community Grant Program represents a historic, $500 million investment in Ohio’s 32 Appalachian counties. The competitive grant program focuses on three project categories: downtown redevelopment, healthcare, and workforce.

Viewing Downtown Gallipolis and the Ohio River, where $9 million will be invested in improvements to Gallipolis’s waterfront and downtown streetscape.

Gallia County entities receiving grant awards include the City of Gallipolis, Holzer Health System, Gallia County Local School District, and Gallipolis City School District. Descriptions of their individual projects are included below.

Gallipolis Riverfront and Streetscape Improvements

Award Amount: $9,044,400

The downtown historical district in Gallipolis will undergo riverfront and streetscape enhancements, including installing moorings for larger boats and new docks, improving lighting and streetscape amenities, and wayfinding improvements.

“This grant award is quite the thrill for the City of Gallipolis,” said Mike Fulks, President of the Gallipolis City Commission. “Our City Manager, Dow Saunders, tragically passed away just days before this grant was awarded. He was the driving force behind the $9 million coming to Gallipolis and would’ve been so proud to bring this to a place he loved so much. We’re honored to follow his vision through the construction and completion of this transformational downtown and riverfront project that will benefit so many businesses, organizations, and people in this community.”

Holzer Medical Complex Childcare Center Construction

Award Amount: $7,377,238

Holzer Health System will build and create a childcare center focused on the child, the parent, and the needs of the workforce.  Offering learning labs, specialized classrooms, and an expansive playground for active outdoor learning, the center is projected to serve more than 100 children of healthcare workers, in an area facing substantial childcare scarcity.

“Access to quality childcare is critical to every community’s continued health and growth,” said Troy Miller, Chief Strategy Officer for Holzer Health System. “This will be an absolute game-changer for Holzer as we work to recruit and retain talent to Gallia County, as well as for the children that will receive high-quality care at this new facility. Our mission is ‘Friendly Visits, Excellent Care; Every Patient, Every Time,’ and providing our patients with a top-notch workforce is at the foundation of that mission.”

Gallia County Local School District School-Based Health Center

Award Amount $2,850,680

In partnership with Holzer Health System, Gallia County Local School District plans to construct a 2,300-square-foot health center at the South Gallia Middle and High School building. This facility will provide comprehensive primary care, behavioral health, dental, and vision services to students, district staff, and members of the surrounding community. The center will be staffed with a Holzer nurse practitioner, vision services will be provided by a Holzer optometrist, and dental services will be offered by local a dentist.

“The Gallia County Local School District is proud to bring this critical healthcare facility to Mercerville – one of Ohio’s most underserved communities for healthcare,” said Phil Kuhn, Superintendent of Gallia County Local Schools. “This will fill healthcare gaps we see impact our students’ learning on a daily basis. From behavioral health to dental and vision, this grant will help our students live higher quality lives and fulfill their academic potential, as well as provide the community in southern Gallia County a fantastic facility for their healthcare needs.”

Gallipolis City School District Gallia Academy Wellness Center

Award Amount $2,627,220

In partnership with Holzer Health System, Gallipolis City School District will construct a wellness center adjacent to the Gallia Academy High School, where space will be dedicated to health and wellness services provided by staff from Holzer, Hopewell Health Centers, Health Recovery Systems, and district personnel. The wellness center will include space for primary care, behavioral health, optometry, school nursing, substance abuse counseling, and shared conferencing space to facilitate collaboration between providers and key stakeholders. Students will be prioritized, but services will also be accessible to district families, staff, and community members. Primary care offerings for students will be comprehensive, including but not limited to well visits, acute and sick visits, vaccinations, primary care mental health, and transportation support.

“The Gallipolis City School District is honored to receive this investment in our students’ futures,” said Craig Wright, Superintendent of Gallipolis City Schools. “We see unprecedented challenges facing our students today, and having a school-based facility that can address those challenges will make an enormous difference in not only their academic careers, but the rest of their lives.”

Additionally, the University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College, whose main campus is in Gallia County, received awards totaling $13.2 million to construct a new McArthur Center in Vinton County and renovate its Jackson Center in Jackson County to build out an advanced manufacturing training center. These projects will strengthen Rio Grande’s ability to meet the evolving workforce needs of Rio Grande’s service area, including Gallia County.

“These historic investments across Gallia County are going to make a big difference in the lives of thousands of children, residents, businesses, and visitors to our community,” said Jay Stapleton, President of the Gallia County Commission. “Thanks to all those who put in a tremendous amount of work to move Gallia County forward. You have the County Commissioners’ support, and I’m excited to see these projects come to life.”

“I’m thrilled with Gallia County’s results from the Appalachian Community Grant Program,” said Cole Massie, Director of Economic Development for the University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College, as well as Gallia County Economic Development. 

“This funding round had $420 million available, which works out to $13.1 million per county if you were to spread the money equally. So, for these organizations to bring home $21.9 million to Gallia County is truly remarkable and demonstrates not only the quality of their projects, but also how our community consistently exceeds expectations. My hat is off to all the folks who worked long hours, weekends, and holidays to put together competitive grant applications. We have a lot to be proud of in Gallia County!” Massie said.

A full list of funded projects across the Appalachian Ohio region can be found here.

Infrastructure improvements, such as public road paving projects, water and sewer lines, and broadband, were not eligible for funding unless integral to a component of a project in one of the above categories. Improvements to government buildings, such as courthouses, fire departments, police stations, city halls, and jails were also not eligible for funding under this program.

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