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n 1996, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development began a nationwide initiative toward the creation of what they called Neighborhood Networks, centrally-located computer education and job-training centers located in or near housing properties.  That year, IGV received permission to access Residual Receipts and Reserve for Replacement Account funds for the creation of The Grove Neighborhood Network.  Coupled with funding partnerships with the City of Greeley, Employment Services of Weld County, and a couple of private grants, TGNN opened in January 1997 following extensive canvassing of IGV and area residents, local educators, elected officials, and private business concerns to determine such issues as curriculum, staffing, computer lab hours, and hardware and software offerings.   

Success quickly overcame TGNNís cramped but efficient facilities, however, and the overwhelming response to the labís many computers resulted in crowded teaching conditions and necessitated immediate expansion to accommodate additional clients coming from IGVís resident base, the neighborhood, educational referrals, and another HUD multifamily housing site nearby.  In other words, success was killing us. 

During late December 1997 and early January 1998, TGNN was uncharacteristically quiet while undergoing expansion and upgrading as the result of funds released by HUD from Residual Receipts and Reimbursement accounts.  In all, a whole bunch of craftsmen, residents, IGV employees, and our usual group of volunteers put their heads and ideas together over coffee and doughnuts and made our dream a reality.  TGNN's cramped quarters were enlarged, additional hardware and software was purchased, as well as more furniture and a more robust coffee pot.

Upon completion, and with much of the hardware and software still on order or waiting to be ordered, client use of the lab increased dramatically, with a substantial number of referrals from other educational institutions and programs in the area, including Aims Community College, Rodarte Center, Right to Read, Weld County School District 6, and numerous State, County, and City support service programs.

And it's been crazy every since, with nearly 25,000 visits since the lab opened, a cornucopia of programs and schedules, and 60 GED graduates.

 

 

 

 

11/30/2016