NH’s Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP) Awards 34 Grants  to Communities and Non-Profit Organizations Across the State

Governor Sununu today announced $4.3 million in matching grants to support thirty-four land conservation and historic preservation projects across the state by the New Hampshire Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP). The grants will assist municipalities, non-profit organizations and community groups in rehabilitating 17 historic structures and permanently conserving more than 2,700 acres of farm, timber, and ecologically significant land in all ten counties of the state, including Centennial Hall in North Hampton. 

The Friends of Centennial Hall, a 501c3 on a mission to preserve, renovate and maintain historic landmark Centennial Hall for joint use by the public and private citizens, has received a $30,000 grant award to support their efforts to continue renovation of the 1876 building with the hopes of opening the second floor ballroom for use by the community.

“We are very appreciative of LCHIP’s continued investment in our three-phase mission to fully restore all four floors of historic Centennial Hall” said Marcy Milne McCann, President of the Board of Directors and acting Executive Director. “This is our fourth LCHIP award that has helped underwrite many significant renovation projects, including: a new slate roof, restoration to 44 original windows, clapboard repair and painting of the 8,400 square foot building.  We have made major progress in seeking to open the building’s most beautiful space, the second-floor ballroom in restoring heat and installing a full building sprinkler system. This award together with other funding will bring us closer to our goal of completing phase two: re-plastering and painting the 18 feet ceiling and walls; refinishing the original grand white oak stairway, doors and floors to open this space for rental opportunities.”

“It is a pretty overwhelming building, it is awesome,” Governor Sununu said about the building following a tour in 2020. “I’ve probably driven by this building for the past 20 years. To be able to come in and see how the phases have played out into making the building a fully functioning operation along with the opportunity you can see in the upper floors [stage] area is pretty impressive.” [source: North Hampton Community Media, https://youtu.be/lVy84bRY05M]

LCHIP grant recipients are required to match each dollar contributed by LCHIP with a minimum of one additional dollar, and to complete the funded projects according to the program’s rigorous standards. This year’s awards of $4.3 million will be matched by more than $15 million in funding from other public and private sources, infusing a total of more than nineteen million dollars into the state’s economy in direct project activity.  Recipients will be expected to completed the funded work within two years. A list of previously completed LCHIP-funded projects can be found at www.LCHIP.org.  


About New Hampshires Land and Community Heritage Investment Program 

The New Hampshire Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP) is an independent state authority created by the legislature in 2000 to ensure the perpetual contribution of natural, cultural and historic resources to the economy, environment, and quality of life in New Hampshire.  Since 2000, LCHIP has provided 564 matching grants to municipalities and non-profit organizations, investing over $58 million to help partners conserve more than 236,000 acres of land and rehabilitate 341 historic buildings. Grants have been awarded in all parts of the state and in 195 of New Hampshire’s 234 communities. The money for LCHIP grants comes from a surcharge assessed when recording documents at county Registries of Deeds.   For more information about LCHIP, visit LCHIP.org or call (603) 224-4113

About Centennial Hall

From its founding in 1876 through the late 1940’s, Centennial Hall played a vital role in the cultural enrichment and education of North Hampton’s citizens. Today, while awaiting the completion of restoration, the building remains in active use as a center for the arts, club meeting place and host to many groups and charitable organizations.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in May, 2016, the building operations and restoration is managed by The Friends of Centennial Hall, Inc., a New Hampshire registered 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization. Centennial Hall continues its legacy of service to the community adapting to a variety of needs and uses. With so few of these special buildings left, especially ones that continue to vibrantly serve the community, the building’s survival depends on donor support.