Earlier today, in the Crookston Public Library Sunroom, T-Mobile announced Crookston as one of its latest 25 Hometown Grant recipients and awarded a $50,000 grant to go toward rebuilding the steps of the 100-year-old historic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. The project was submitted by the Prairie Skyline Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to restoring historic Crookston buildings for the community.
“It is to replace and put a foundation under the steps in front of the Cathedral. There are three sets of steps in front of the building. They have no foundation and are rocking,” Prairie Skyline Foundation Grant Writer Kay Hegge explained. “So, the grant is to fix that. This is wonderful as we’re trying everything possible to get the place open, so this will be part of that.”
The Cathedral is used to hold community events and gatherings, including the annual Ox Cart Days, and the grant wants to ensure that it keeps happening.
“Thank you, T-Mobile, for the funding for our Cathedral. This will go a long way to enhancing our community and provide a better environment for our citizens and continue to redevelop our historic district,” said Crookston Mayor Dale Stainbrook
With the grant, the Foundation is looking to help the Cathedral become a new Community Center called Young at Art Center. Where it will be a place people can come and create various art projects and socialize with one another.
“We’re designing it to have stations up and down the side aisles, where you can land and create art, anywhere from pencil drawings to a LEGO model of the church. There’s nothing like art and creating something to bring people together and give them something to talk about, so that is why we’re focusing on that,” said Hegge. “We also have a strong art community here, and we’re trying to center them here. Also, with the way the building is made with an altar for a stage, and the left and right sacristy for stage left and right, the side aisles, and center space, it’s just made for something like this.”
The center will be open to the public and for events, gatherings, meetings, and local organizations to use for various events. To help make this center possible, the Foundation has received several grants from Laura J. Musser Fund and legacy grants. They have also received sewer and building permits from the city and have added water and plumbing to the building.
Launched in April 2021, T-Mobile Hometown Grants is a $25 million, five-year initiative to support the people and organizations who help small towns across America thrive and grow by providing funding to kickstart vital community development projects.
“Part of T-Mobile’s commitment to bring 5G to rural America is in more ways than just towers and stores. T-Mobile wants to be part of the community and help small towns thrive. So over the next five years, T-Mobile is planning to provide $25 million in grants in community projects like this one,” T-Mobile representative Dave Maurer explained. “My speculation would be how visible and central this project and building are to this community. So, this fits so well with our mission and vision for these investments in rural communities.” Since the program’s start, T-Mobile has given more than $7.8 million to 175 communities across 41 states. The initiative has provided more than $100,000 to three cities across Minnesota, including:
- June 2022: Lake Howard
- March 2022: Owatonna
- March 2023: Crookston
With the grant, the project for the Cathedral’s steps is scheduled to begin construction on the steps in May, and hope to have them reset before Ox Cart Days, with the goal before the end of June.
Pictures of the ceremony and T-Mobile delivering the check can be seen below-