Demonstrating thathis continued commitment to safer neighborhoods and communities, Mayor Lenny Curry joined Edward Waters College (EWC) President Nat Glover and City officials to announce one of his Safer Neighborhoods investments that will benefit the northwest Jacksonville community.
The City of Jacksonville’s 2017-18 budget includes support for safety improvements and infrastructure enhancements at the local college that is Florida’s oldest independent institution of higher learning established for the education of African Americans. More than $8 million has been committed to support the school’s efforts to refurbish a long-challenged dormitory and build a community field.
“This is a real investment where there is a real need,” said Mayor Curry. “As its history affirms, Edward Waters College should be a beacon of light for our community.”
EWC President Nat Glover approached the mayor earlier this year to request support for two challenges he felt were impeding the growth and progress of the university. Dormitory conditions resulting in mold and unhealthy environments were affecting recruitment and retention efforts. The long-time absence of an on-campus athletic field required the school to leave its campus and community for football games, played at local high schools. This void which robs the school of a home spirited atmosphere, as expressed by Glover, also prevents the community from embracing and accessing the campus. A new community field with a track will be a resource to Health Zone 1, a community wrought with health, safety and education disparities.
In an effort to address these needs which are aligned with the mayor’s commitment to public safety, Mayor Curry has designated $4.4 million in funds for the EWC dormitories, and $4 million for the development of a community field. The mayor will present his full budget and “Safer Neighborhoods” investment plan to City Council on July 17th. Pending City Council approval, the budget will take effect October 1, 2017.