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AURORA, CO-Uncle Sam is lending a helping hand to the fledgling $4.2-billion renovation of the former Fitzsimons Army hospital into one of the nation’s largest biotech and medical centers.

The US Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration is providing a $720,000 grant to the City of Aurora for the redevelopment. The money will be used to help boost construction of the Sand Creek Parkway that will provide better access to Fitzsimons.

“The EDA grant will help Aurora promote the redevelopment of the former Fitzsimons Army Medical Center into a commercial and industrial business hub by providing funding for the construction of a roadway to serve the area,” says David Bearden, active assistant secretary for economic development. The grant to Aurora is funded under EDA’s Economic Adjustment Program, which helps states and communities develop plans to lessen the adverse impact of changes in their economic situation that either are causing, or threatening to cause, severe economic distress.

The EDA works in collaboration with local governments and community groups. Its mission is to generate new jobs, help retain existing jobs and stimulate industrial and commercial growth in economically distressed communities. EDA funds are available to both rural and urban areas experiencing high unemployment, low-income or other severe economic problems.

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