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OUR VIEW: Grant could be ‘game-changer’

Recently, the city of LaGrange received a $2 million grant from the Georgia Department of Affairs to revitalize part of the Whitesville Road corridor.

The importance of this grant cannot be understated for not only the Whitesville Road corridor but potentially the entire city.

Alton West, community development director for LaGrange, called the move a game-changer on several occasions. We are likely to agree with him if the intentions behind the grant become a reality.

The center of the project starts with a training facility that will be renovated across the from the LaGrange Housing Authority of Whitesville Road. That facility is supposed to train potential employees with trade skills such as HVAC, plumbing, carpentry and so much more. These are skills that are desperately needed in Troup County, and having a place in the center of town to help obtain those skills would be — in Mr. West’s words — a game-changer.

Not only will those students get an education in the classroom, but part of the grant also involves purchasing seven homes on Butler and Bagley Streets. The goal is to tear down these homes and build new ones in their place so students can get hands-on experience.

Also, those currently living in those homes, which are all occupied but one, will be moved into a new home without seeing their rent significantly increased.

We feel this is a great step forward for the city and the potential workforce in LaGrange. Hopefully, the results of this facility will yield successful employees who will work and live in Troup County for several years.