Olympia’s Capitol Theater and Ritzville’s German American Bank Building are among the top projects recommended for state funding by the Washington State Historical Society. Locally the Hubble House in Hoquiam appears near the bottom of the list, with over $40-thousand proposed to help fund the $182-thousand project.

Every two years, the Washington State Historical Society is tasked with administering grant applications through the Heritage Capital Projects (HCP) grants program. Per state law, appointed HCP advisory panelists individually evaluated and scored the applications.

“All of the projects recommended this biennium reflect the dedication and passion of local citizens who’ve come together to help restore or preserve a piece of Washington heritage,” said Janet Rogerson, HCP Manager for the Washington State Historical Society. “As stewards of these funds, we’re honored with the responsibility of selecting (it’s actually the advisory panel selecting) which projects are most deserving, and it’s always a challenging process with so many worthy organizations across the state.”

On August 15, the panel met in an open public meeting for deliberation and established the prioritized list of 35 projects – their official recommendation for 2017-2019 capital budget funding in the next legislative session. Taking the top spot this time around is Sound Experience, which is seeking funding for the Adventuress Centennial Restoration Project in Port Townsend. The full list of projects is available at www.washingtonhistory.org/support/heritage/capitalprojectsfund.

Through the competitive HCP program, the state may provide up to ten million dollars of grants each biennium to reimburse up to 1/3 of the eligible costs of selected heritage capital projects, and grantees must provide at least 2/3 match. Applicants must demonstrate significant public benefit in the form of heritage interpretation and preservation, involve property that will be held a minimum of 13 years beyond the completion of the project and have the readiness and capacity to undertake and complete their capital project within the biennium.

Since 1997, the HCP fund has supported local leaders in communities across the state as they have worked to preserve heritage, interpret its meaning and serve the public. HCP grants have assisted hundreds of local heritage projects, resulting in the construction of new museums and interpretive centers, additions to heritage facilities, improvements to archives and museum collection storage, preservation and reuse of historic structures, restoration of historic ships, and rehabilitation of historic railroad equipment.