Rep, Jim Cooper, TN 5th District
NASHVILLE, TN (TN Tribune) – Today Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) announced $4,796,812 has been included for American Baptist College, Meharry Medical School and Jefferson Street Interstate Cap in the seven-bill spending package that passed the House.
For the first time in more than a decade members of Congress have been able to submit specific requests for their districts, known as Community Project Funding, to be included in the spending package. Cooper’s approved projects would go to the following:
  • American Baptist College, in partnership with the Metro Historical Commission, to restore buildings on the campus of American Baptist College where many notable Civil Rights leaders received their education and training, as well as create a complementary Civil Rights walking tour of the campus to educate the public about the college’s significance and role in the Civil Rights story.
  • Meharry Medical School to fund a supercomputer cluster to support student- and faculty-specialized genomics research at their new School of Applied Computational Sciences.
  • Metro Nashville to construct the Jefferson Street Cap and Connector, an interstate cap located over I-40 from the D.B. Todd Blvd bridge to 17th Avenue North, which would help reconnect the North Nashville community and support revitalization of the historically significant Jefferson Street commercial district.
“These projects are vital to make Nashville more inclusive and help us continue to grow,” Rep. Jim Cooper said. “I hope the Senate will agree to support these projects and send these much-needed funds back here to Middle Tennessee.”
“We deeply appreciate Congressman Cooper’s efforts and being selected for Community Project Funding to advance the Jefferson Street Cap project,” said Faye DiMassimo, Director of Metro Nashville Department of Transportation and Multimodel Infrastructure. “The proposed Cap and related transportation improvements determined through community led design will yield equity, sustainability and community restoration benefits to a historical Black community generationally impacted by the construction of I-40 in the early 1960s.”
“We are truly grateful to Congressman Cooper for the support of $1M towards purchase of a supercomputer cluster which will support students and faculty specialized genomics research as well as many other applications. The supercomputer cluster will provide the much-needed storage capacity and compute power as we continue to build technology infrastructure for human genomic research, with a focus on underserved populations,” said Fortune Mhlanga, Founding Dean of the School of Applied Computational Sciences at Meharry Medical College. “The support demonstrates Congressman Cooper’s great vote of confidence in Meharry’s mission. The equipment will make an immediate difference, as a vehicle to stimulate knowledge discovery, and will directly benefit our students and faculty as they develop and deploy impactful and socially-responsible scientific knowledge and practical technologies that empower society to improve the quality of life. We are now well on our way to purchase the supercomputer cluster and set it up for our faculty and students!”
It is important to American Baptist College that the legacy of Congressman Lewis be preserved and his work continued,” said Dr. Forrest E. Harris, Sr., President of American Baptist College. “This legislation will provide us with the resources to  accomplish that.”