Murray, Ky. – The renovation of the former Murray Post Office into the Calloway County Renaissance Center has received an infusion of state dollars for phase two of the project.
Lieutenant Governor Steve Pence, representing Governor Ernie Fletcher, announced today the approval of a $200,000 state grant in Renaissance Kentucky funds to turn the historic Murray post office into the headquarters of several nonprofit agencies that will work to further economic development opportunities in the area. The new center also will have space for conferences and public meetings.
Lieutenant Governor Pence, along with Renaissance Director Shawn Dyer, delivered a ceremonial check this afternoon to city officials. “Renaissance Kentucky revitalizes our hometowns and is the future of economic development in our Commonwealth. This appropriation will help non-profit organizations to effectively provide new economic and employment opportunities to Calloway County.”
Renaissance Kentucky is a state grant program administered by the Department for Local Government (DLG) that encourages cities to concentrate on bringing new life to their downtown areas.
The city of Murray has used state and local dollars to leverage other investments into the project, including funds from the Community Development Block Grant program, and the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21).
The old post office, predominantly located on the corner of the Courthouse Square, was built in 1931 during the depression era. At that time, the Classical Revival structure was the largest post office ever constructed by the federal government for a town the size of Murray. Due to the high quality work and architectural design, the integrity of the original plan largely survives. The building has a basement, main floor and partial second floor totaling 14,149 square feet.
DLG Commissioner Darrell Brock said that creating an attractive atmosphere in downtowns encourages economic development. “Clean, eye-catching downtowns convey to visitors that residents care about their community. That pride translates into attracting new business and industry into the area.
“That will be the focus of Renaissance Kentucky in the next several years: creating healthy local economies throughout Kentucky,” added Brock.
Murray Mayor Tom Rushing said the city of Murray is extremely grateful for the support received through the Renaissance Kentucky program over the past several years.
“With coordination through the Main Street program, over $2 million of state and federal funds have been used to make improvements to local businesses, our courthouse, the downtown streetscape and the old post office. We are extremely excited and grateful that Governor Fletcher is allowing us to continue these improvements by providing funding that will enable us to open the old post office for the public’s use,” said Rushing.
Murray is a Gold-designated Renaissance Kentucky city.