FRANKFORT, KY (February 4, 2005)—Governor Ernie Fletcher and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet announce that $250,000 of federal Transportation Enhancement Funds have been awarded to the Forkland Community Center. The Community Center, formerly known as the Forkland School, is located in Forkland, Kentucky.
Governor Fletcher said, "By awarding this money to the Forkland Community Center, we are fulfilling my administration’s primary mission to improve economic development and quality of life for the citizens of Kentucky."
The grant will be used to upgrade the Community Center, to preserve it for use as a tourism welcome center for this region. The Center will work closely with the Danville-Boyle County Convention and Visitors Bureau to coordinate services and information to visitors and travelers. For nearly three decades, the buildings have been preserved entirely by the local community as they have taken great pride in this historic school.
Secretary Maxwell Clay Bailey stated, "We want to recognize and give special thanks to Senator Tom Buford and Representative Mike Harmon for their dedication and commitment to this project. We also want to express our appreciation to the community and county and all other participants for their continued interest and support as this project will not only serve the residents and businesses of this region, but the visitors as well."
The Transportation Enhancement program was created by federal legislation in 1991 to offer states funding opportunities to expand transportation choices and increase recreational access. Communities may also use TE funds to contribute toward the revitalization of local and regional economies by restoring historic buildings, renovating streetscapes or providing transportation museums and visitors centers.
For Kentucky Transportation Enhancement projects that involve historic preservation, the Transportation Cabinet partners with the Kentucky Heritage Council, the State Historic Preservation Office, to ensure that any work done on a historic building is done in accordance with the federal Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.
"The Forkland School is a wonderful example of an important historic building that has been preserved because of grassroots efforts on the part of the Forkland community," said David L. Morgan, Executive Director of Kentucky Heritage Council and State Historic Preservation Officer.
The Forkland School was built in 1926 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. It is located on Highway 37 in southwest Boyle County. The gymnasium was built using Kentucky limestone quarried from the top of Mitchellsburg Knob. In addition, the community of Forkland holds a significant historical connection, as it was the home to Abraham Lincoln’s grandmother, Lucy Hanks Sparrow.
This historic school building represents, both in its creation and its closure, the impact that our rural transportation systems have in both the quality and equity of education. The Forkland School replaced nine one-room schools including three Casey County Schools and the three-room Sycamore School, which has located across the river. By 1971, the Forkland School closed due to the improvements in the state and federal highway systems. Larger and more updated schools were built and outlying smaller schools such as Forkland were consolidated. With the development of the school bus transit system and the improved road systems, the Forkland School students are now bussed to Boyle County’s larger and more efficient district school facilities.
Work involved will include a new roof, restoration of windows and doors, electrical upgrades, heating, cooling and ventilating systems upgrades and ADA upgrades. Work is expected to be complete by Spring of 2006.