After delay, Train Depot is on the way

January 15th, 2019 by Ken

After more that a year of delay, the Lacey City Council has finally approved going out for bid for a new  Train Depot replica on Pacific Avenue.  The depot will echo the original train depot which served the city beginning in the 1890’s.  The depot was demolished sometime in mid-20th Century and the railroad tracks vacated in the 1970’s.

In a recent Council work session the vote was 5-1 in favor of moving ahead with the project.  Only Councilmember Lenny Greenstein voted in opposition questioning its nearly $900,000 price tag.  Councilmember Jason Hearn was absent.

Several years  before the City of Lacey’s 50th Birthday Celebration in 2016, the city was looking for a project that would reflect the city’s history.

A new museum for Lacey was the main subject of conversation and the decision was made to begin the process.  A planning team was gathered and the final determination was to build a replica of the Lacey Train Depot which would house the museum..   The depot connected Lacey to the world and helped give Lacey a sense of community.

The city manager and the mayor were on board and planning began for the building and its interior.   Funding would be a major issue, but plans were proposed to start a fund-raising campaign.   The kickoff for the fund raiser could be a “Mayor’s Gala”.  The event would be part of the city’s 50th birthday celebration.  Money raised at the event would begin the drive to get the money and get the project started.

Then the city spent nearly a million dollars to buy the old carpet warehouse on Lacey Blvd as the site of a new city museum and community center.  Finally, money raised at the Mayor’s Gala was decided to fund operation of the new Lacey Veteran Service Hub, a major priority for the city.

A museum within the Train Deport was determined to be non-workable and was placed down the list of priorities.  When the estimated cost of the project came out significantly higher than thought, the city took a look at how to lower the cost..

One suggestion was to build only the exterior of the building.

Since its location is on the Woodland Trail, the building is now considered a “trail amenity”.  It will contain only two bathrooms for walkers on the trail. The remainder of the scaled-down building will be left empty.

The city is going out to bid in a few weeks.   If the bids come back at a price the city can afford, then construction will hopefully start this summer.  Maybe the Lacey Train Depot replica can be dedicated on December 5, the 53rd birthday of the city.

Posted in The Real News

(comments are closed).