August 18, 2011
The Asian American Resource Center has been awarded $750,000 in federal funds for construction. The Center's mission is to increase commerce and showcase the best of Asian culture to educate, congregate, and celebrate the diverse heritage. The funds are being awarded by the Department of Commerce, through the Economic Development Administration.
U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett described the partnership and team work to secure the grant.
"The Resource Center is an example of just how important local-federal, private-public partnerships are; born of the Asian American community, the Network of Asian American Organizations, the Asian American Chamber of Commerce, the Austin City Council, a grant from the Department of Commerce and the hard work of so many- we got to this point together," said Rep. Doggett. "And we will continue building together through new partnerships."
Rudy Garza, Austin Assistant City Manager, was pleased to hear news of the funding and commented on the growing Asian population in Austin.
"The Asian community in Austin continues to grow and contribute to the cultural diversity and vitality of the entire community," he said. "In 2010 the Asian population was approximately 50,000 and accounted for 6.3% of our total City population. The Asian American Resource Center will provide a facility for the community to share, learn and experience the vast Asian cultures."
In 2006, Austin voters approved a $5 million Bond Program for the construction of the Asian American Resource Center.
"Today's notice of the grant award of $750,000 will allow us to expand the size of the facility by 2,000 square feet, which results in additional classrooms for children and adults to enhance their visits to the Center. Additionally, these dollars will allow for some of the City funds to be made available for enhancing the technology capacity of the Center, as well as provide some critically needed furniture and fixtures," he said.
Former Austin City Council Member Jennifer Kim, who has been active in the AARC project, thanked Congressman Lloyd Doggett and the EDA Austin Regional Office for their continued support for this project.
"This grant is a result of efforts by many community volunteers and the strong commitment by the City of Austin. This project will attract more private investment to Austin, create high skilled jobs and enhance the rich cultural fabric of Austin. We look forward to the groundbreaking in November and the grand opening next year," Kim said.
The Asian American Resource Center is slated to be completed by late 2012. Visit www.austinaarc.org for details.