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Train depot in Valparaiso set for move

More than year after Canadian National Railroad applied for permit tear down 1912 prairie-style GrTruck depot Bush Street Calumet Avenue

More than a year after the Canadian National Railroad applied for a permit to tear down the 1912 prairie-style Grand Truck depot on Bush Street and Calumet Avenue, the building has been saved. The railroad is giving it to the Porter County Career and Technical Center at 1005 N. Franklin St. The Career Center plans to move the building in early July. | Jim D. Wolf Jr.~For Sun-Times Media

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Events planned at depot

The public is invited to two events for the 1912 Grand Trunk depot on Bush Street this week.

At 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Jon Groth, principal and area director of Career and Technical Education, and others will recognize those involved so far and announce a matching gifts campaign for people who wish to donate to the depot renovation.

At 9 a.m. Saturday, volunteers will help the Career Center gather bricks that surround the depot for use at the new site. Groth said it should take about an hour because they can only collect about half the bricks to stack on pallets.

Maps

Updated: June 1, 2014 6:20AM



VALPARAISO — Plans to save the 1912 Grand Trunk depot on Bush Street are almost complete.

It will move from the property owned by Canadian National Railway, but it will stay close to the tracks — just three blocks west to the Porter County Career and Technical Center at 1005 N. Franklin St.

“It’s going to be a once-in-a-lifetime event to see that 3,000-square-foot depot ‘walk down,’” said Jon Groth, principal and area director of Career and Technical Education.

City officials unofficially approved the general concepts of moving the depot at the April 15 Site Review Committee meeting.

That includes shutting down Bush Street for short periods during the six to eight weeks

Canadian National set July 7 to shut down train traffic, allowing the school to move it down Bush Street and across the tracks, although July 8 could be used if things don’t come together correctly.

The Career Center raised $165,000 in pledges for the move and is getting donations of time and skills.

The depot is in good condition and the wood is dry, thanks to the overhang of the roof.

Staff and students will restore the outside of the Prairie-style building and turn the inside into classroom space. The original blueprints hang in the Career Center.

“We’ll save as much as we can, but we want to make it a useful classroom,” Groth said.

The school plans to raise $100,000 more to renovate the depot, which cost $8,660 to build in 1912.

“It’ll be a couple of years before it can be used as a classroom,” Groth said.

Plans also call for use of student labor. Students will also get EPA certification for lead paint removal.

“The students are interested in doing everything green on this,” Groth said.

The renovated depot will use geothermal heat and solar-powered pumps, rain barrels and a rain garden to filter impurities from the storm water.

They also intend to reuse the brick pavers that surround the depot, Groth said.

City officials also liked Valparaiso Community School Corp.’s plan to shrink the Career Center parking lot so the campus will have enough green space.



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