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Hazleton, May 16, 2016– State Senator John Yudichak (D-Luzerne/Carbon) and Representative Tarah Toohil (R-116th) have announced The Downtown Hazleton Alliance for Progress has been awarded a $500,000 Keystone Communities Grant from the Department of Community and Economic Development. The City of Hazleton sponsored the application on behalf of the Alliance, which administers the city’s Keystone Main Street program.

ArtistRenderingHazletonArtsCenter

“The Keystone Communities grant is the latest in a series of strategic investments in the Broad Street Corridor in Downtown Hazleton,” said Senator Yudichak. “The state funding will help transform the former Security Bank building

into the new City Arts Center and create additional development opportunities downtown.”

The Keystone Communities program assists communities in achieving revitalization. The program designates and funds communities that are implementing Main Street programs by supporting physical improvements.

The grant matches a Luzerne County LSA grant awarded last year for the project which is in the design phase. It is expected to be put out for bid this fall.

‘These funds are critical to the Arts Center project, which will serve as an anchor and catalyst for revitalization of the whole block,” said Krista Schneider, Executive Director of The Downtown Hazleton Alliance for Progress.

“The award could not have come at a better time, as we can expand the scope of the renovations and open the building up to the new park property. Our organization and the Art League–who will relocate to the building

once complete–are very much looking forward to getting this project underway.”

“It is exciting to see the Alliance’s plans become reality with the help of this state funding,” said Rep. Tarah Toohil (R-Luzerne). “These projects are important to the success of the revitalization now underway in downtown Hazleton,

which is so critical to the entire region’s economic future. The new arts center and other facade improvements will help attract more people and businesses, and increase interest and participation in the business district’s continued rebirth.”

”This is a further step in the Revitalization of our city. The progress that has been made over the past several years downtown will serve as the springboard for dramatic improvements throughout our great city,” said Hazleton Mayor Jeff Cusat.