Train station/visitor center rolling along

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 3, 2007

FRANKLIN—After an April groundbreaking, the city’s visitor center project is on schedule, according to public works officials.

General Services Superintendent Lin Darden, who is overseeing the project for the city, said that footings for the addition to the old CSX passenger train station on Main Street were poured last week.

&uot;They will be pouring slab this week,&uot; he said. &uot;By the end of the week, they should be able to begin framework on the addition.&uot;

He also said that demolition of the existing building is still ongoing, but in the next couple of weeks, work should begin on those renovations as well. The historic structure will be kept as close to its original state as possible.

The general contractor is W.P. Taylor of Suffolk. Riesbeck Contracting of Virginia Beach has been subbed for much of the labor, and crew members were busy with concrete work on Wednesday.

The building, located in the emergency services parking area, will be 1,700 square feet and house the new welcome center, the Downtown Franklin Association office and a multi-purpose room, where a small, rotating museum exhibit will be displayed.

The structure will include a cupola, since one had topped the passenger station at one time in the past.

The project is being funded through a transportation enhancement grant from the Commonwealth Transportation Board, totaling approximately $1 million, and a 10 percent local match of $100,000 from the Camp Foundation.

&uot;We are hoping the project will be complete sometime around the new year,&uot; Darden said.