Winfield receives $52k grant for NYA building

After previous grants helped fund new roofs and new windows, the new grant will help fund interior restoration.

By Luke Brantley
Staff writer

WINFIELD — The City of Winfield has received a $52,500 grant from the Alabama Historical Commission to go toward restoration of the old WPA NYA building, located on State Highway 253 in downtown Winfield near the street department.
Restoration efforts have been ongoing for the last few years, beginning with the roof and windows. The city has been planning to restore the interior as the next phase of the project.
The Winfield City Council is still deciding what the purpose of the building will be, which will determine what is done with the interior plans.
The building was originally constructed in 1940 as part of a New Deal project under the Work Projects Administration.
At first, the building served as a community center for the NYA, or the National Youth Administration, and later served as a Veterans of Foreign Wars meeting place, a National Guard armory, a library, a scout hut and finally the Christian Center of Concern/Christian Aid Center.
Jeana Estes, Winfield councilwoman and member of Main Street, said the city is still determining what the ultimate purpose for the building will be when restoration is eventually completed.
“The original plan was to make it some type of meeting place/storage, but that was before we purchased the armory,” she said. “Now that we’ve purchased the armory and moved the police department over, now we have the whole other half of city hall open which we’re using for storage.
“We were hoping to use it as a training facility for the police department, but now they’ve gotten their own space in their new facility.”
Estes said plans of using it as meeting space for local organizations has been discussed, but nothing is set in stone yet.
Estes did say whatever the plan ends up being, the building’s purpose will still be to serve the community in some way.
According to Estes, the grant isn’t enough to complete the entire restoration, but it will help.
“The grant is for around $52,000, which is really not that much when you’re remodeling, because we’ve spent a lot of money and—yeah, we’ve put on a new roof and put in new windows, but everything takes a lot of money,” she said. “We’ve got to put doors on, then we’re going to start working on the inside, which will consist of wiring, plumbing and flooring. It’s going to have to be gutted and completely revamped.
“But this grant is going to go toward beginning the process of the interior restoration.”
Main Street Treasurer Mary Hyche said while the city owns the property, Main Street is happy to help.
“The city owns the building. Main Street’s role is just helping them earn the money and get what public funding is available to make the restorations,” Hyche said. “We’re trying to restore it because of the historical significance of the building, based on where the material came from to build it and also the uses of it as well as the fact that it was built under the NYA and WPA back in the 30s.”
Estes and Hyche both expressed thanks.
“I think it’s important to see this thing saved,” said Alabama District 17  Representative Tracy Estes. “I’m honored to have had the chance to participate by writing a letter of support and working with the historical commission in trying to gain approval for this project…


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