The second attempt to secure a Utah Department of Transportation grant proved to be the charm for a group preserving and restoring a 92-year-old city landmark.
The People Preserving Peteet-neet group was recently awarded a UDOT highway enhancement grant of more than $100,000. Members of the group will use the funds to repair the roof and brickwork on the Peteetneet Academy and make some seismic upgrading, as well as begin construction of the Peteetneet Memorial Gardens on the school's north side."We're excited to receive this, obviously," said Gordon Taylor, PPP president. "With these grants and another one we'll apply for next year, we could conceivably finish all the restoration and other projects we've been planning."
In 1993, the state received $18 million to spend over a six-year period, as a provision of a federal highway bill. Congress tacked money onto the bill for highway enhancement projects. Consequently, UDOT officials have requested applications for $3 million in projects, which they began to allocate last year.
Taylor and the group applied for the UDOT funds last year but were turned down because the proposal for more than $400,000 was more than the selection committee was willing to award. So this year, they trimmed their request and were successful.
"We learned our lesson last year," Taylor said. "We went after this grant a little more realistically."
PPP members applied for the UDOT highway enhancement under two criteria: restoration of a historically significant project and scenic landscaping and enchancement of a byway.
Known as Peteetneet Academy since 1988, the school is located at the corner of 600 East and 100 North. The latter is actually part of U.S. 6, and 600 East leads to Canyon Road, part of the Nebo Loop Scenic Byway.
All in all, the group will receive more than $150,000 in five different grants from governmental and business entities, including $35,601 from proceeds of the Utah County restaurant tax. The Utah County grant will help the preservation organization pay the one-fifth matching funds requirement on the UDOT grant.
Even though the group won't receive the UDOT funds until October, members have already completed the building's interior restoration, including restoring the school's original hardwood floors.
Since the building was turned over to the group by the city, which received it in exchange for land in a deal with the Nebo School District, it has been used to host wedding receptions and family reunions. It also houses an art gallery, a Daughters of the Utah Pioneers Museum and the Peteet-neet Academy of the Arts.
Other restoration and improvement projects under consideration by the group include turning the school grounds into a park and walkway, including a fountain.