As we see campus projects underway everywhere, we are inspired by the energy that each brings to the community and their institution. We are of the opinion that there should always be a shovel on the ground, not only to fill the need for a renewed structure, but also to clearly communicate a vision of progress and energy. Some may think we subscribe to the "tail wagging the dog," in the sense that a "need" should drive projects, rather than projects driving institutional culture and success. From our experience, both actually go hand and hand.
We also understand that some colleges are not able to initiate projects because of headcount declines, which then causes budget declines, making projects harder to get started and/or completed. Indeed, this is prudent thinking, and although we do not know the extent of your current position, the spiral that results when students don't come and our grounds get old, or academic projects are shutdown or abandoned, has to stop somewhere.
The best way to avoid stagnation is to simply move forward. Can't get funding? Get a grant. Start today. As a matter of fact, here is the first place grant writers look: www.grants.gov. Take a look and see what is available. Examine state resources, such as the ones provided through the North Carolina Rural Communities.
Can't get a grant? Get donations. Can't get donations? Get the students and parents of the students involved. Can't get constituents involved? Rally the community.
If you push forward tirelessly, you WILL move forward and create a upwards spiral of success.