Landrum chugging along in depot renovation effort

Published 11:40 am Friday, July 22, 2011

Landrum City Council entertained the idea Tuesday, July 12 of placing train cars near the depot, but before such ideas come to fruition, city leaders want to enhance the structure.
City administrator Steve Wolochowicz said while the enthusiasm to use train cars as a means of boosting tourism in the town is encouraging, the practicality of it may still be a year or so down the road.
“The idea came from some of the representatives of the area businesses. They thought that it might help Landrum as a destination if we could get some train cars out there,” Wolochowicz said. “Several of them said they might even be willing to rent space in the cars.”
Wolochowicz said after discussion with Norfolk Southern, it was determined that a lease agreement would have to be made for that to happen. Right now the city owns the depot but leases the land from Norfolk Southern. The city also aims to fire up plans this fall to renovate the depot, another project that could involve alterations to the current lease agreement with Norfolk.
Wolochowicz said the city wants to add a covered loading dock that would serve as a stage for outdoor music and plays. The city has also requested that designers interested in handling the project submit plans for the addition of windows to allow in more natural light, an enclosed kitchen, replaced lighting and HVAC, accessible restrooms, flexible and functional meeting space and improved landscaping.
Officials would like to see a renovation completed similar to what was done in Tryon, he said. He said the town wants it to look similar to the way it would in its original period although no one expects it to be identical to its original specs.
The city has requested design firms interested in the project to submit proposals to Wolochowicz at Landrum City Hall by 4:30 Aug. 18.
In September, Wolochowicz said he hopes to have potential design options regarding exterior, interior and footprint for the council to consider. The council will then be able to bid out a contract for a design firm to complete official drawings.
“Ideally, I’d really like to get a grant to help out with that, not just use city money, but get some outside funds,” Wolochowicz said.  “We’re not quite at that point yet but I think we will be.”

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