ADA — East Central University claimed more than $600,000 in federal grants through USDA Rural development Tuesday. Two grants totaling $624,324 are being funded through the agency’s Rural Business Enterprise Grant program and Rural Business Opportunity program.

ECU plans to use the $404,440 Rural Business Enterprise Grant to renovate its fine arts center and business incubator facility. The $219,880 Rural Business Opportunity grant will be used to conduct a feasibility study for the development of a fine arts district which will benefit the enterprise community area, according to a press release from United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development.

U.S. Rep. Tom Cole attended ECU’s celebration where he and Brent Kisling, USDA Rural Development state director, awarded the ceremonial checks representing grant funds.

“USDA Rural Development is excited about the opportunity to partner in this project,” said Kisling. “We commend those who have worked so hard to see this project through.”

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