CASTLETON — Castleton University has been awarded $130,000 to turn the president’s house into a day care center.

James Lambert, director of marketing and communications, said Friday the president will temporarily reside in a cottage on campus while the Granger House is renovated.

The Granger House will become the new president’s house.

As for the day care, Lambert said it will be open to the entire community.

Early childhood education students at the university will be able to train there, working alongside the day care’s staff.

The day care will feature an outdoor playground. Construction is expected to begin towards the end of the year with the facility expected to open for business by July 1, Lambert said.

Funding comes from the Community Development Block Grant Program of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Federal funds are distributed by the Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development, which awards about $7 million annually, according to a statement released by Gov. Phil Scott’s office.

According to the statement, the Castleton University grant was part of $2.7 million awarded in 10 towns.

Block grants are technically awarded to the towns in which the awardees reside.

Lambert said the town of Castleton partnered with the school on the application, identifying day care services as an unaddressed need in the community.

Other awards included the town of Barre, which got $150,000 for renovations to the Vermont Foodbank’s warehouse and office.

Funds will be used for a new freezer that will expand storage capacity.

Montpelier received $300,000 to put toward the Vermont State Housing Authority for a two-year pilot program assisting eligible homeowners with designing, and finding a contractor to build accessory dwellings on their property.

Rutland City was awarded $15,000 to conduct a market analysis and strategic plan for a Special Benefits District in its downtown.

“These grants allow a community to identify its own needs and work with partners to make it happen, which is an approach that makes a lot of sense and has been successful,” Scott said in the statement. “Through new housing, improved infrastructure, restored historic buildings and greater support services to the most vulnerable families, these grants strengthen Vermont’s communities, and when paired with local tax incentives generate economic activity to help them grow.”


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