The Franklin News-Post|
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Friday, May 2, 2014
By KEN BRADLEY - Staff Writer
There's good news for the supporters of moving the old Norfolk Southern depot in Boones Mill off railroad property.
Mike Smith, a member of town council, said Thursday the town has received a $242,000 federal grant through the Virginia Department of Transportation that will be used to move and help restore the depot.
Norfolk Southern planned to demolish the historic building if the town didn't move it from railroad property.
Smith said "the $242,000 grant and donations, which are still being accepted, will go a long way toward what we want to do to restore and preserve the depot."
The depot will be moved to the industrial complex, which used to be North American Housing and is now owned by the town. It will be about 300 yards from Boones Mill Town Hall.
"The land has been cleared and we hope to have the footers poured and move the depot in the next 45 days," Smith said.
A land swap proposition with Franklin County turned out to be cost prohibitive, Smith said.
A moving contractor from North Carolina has already been hired and the move will hopefully be done in about 45 days, depending on the mover's schedule, Smith said.
Plans call for the depot to be used as a community center.
"We want to have live music at the facility on Friday evenings. The walls will have a pictorial history of the depot and other art," Smith said. "I think we're finally getting to the end of the road now and we're ready to make the move."
Donations are still being accepted and an official donation form can be found on the Boones Mill website (www.townofboonesmill.org) or on the Restoring the Boones Mill Norfolk and Western Railroad on Facebook page.
The Roanoke Valley Preservation Foundation is also accepting donations on behalf of the Town of Boones Mill. Donations can be mailed to: Roanoke Valley Preservation Foundation, Attn: Boones Mill Depot, P.O. Box 1366, Roanoke, Va. 24007.