BAY ROBERTS HAS PLANS FOR HIS­TORIC RAIL­WAY STA­TION

Town’s splash pad gives old struc­ture new life

The Compass - - Front page - BY CHRIS LEWIS chris.lewis@cb­n­com­pass.ca

Following the suc­cess of the new splash pad in Bay Roberts, the old rail­way sta­tion may be re­ceiv­ing a new makeover in the com­ing months.

Dur­ing a reg­u­lar meet­ing of coun­cil in Bay Roberts, held on Tues­day, Sept. 11, coun­cil dis­cussed the pos­si­bil­ity of breath­ing some new life into the rail­way sta­tion, lo­cated along­side the Wil­bur Sparkes Recre­ation Com­plex. Nor­mally, the build­ing sits va­cant, but coun­cil­lors re­cently dis­cussed new ways they could put the struc­ture to use.

Orig­i­nally, the topic was brought up by Mayor Philip Wood dur­ing his her­itage ad­vi­sory re­port. He said that when the paint­ing on the build­ing was looked into, it was dis­cov­ered that there was some work that would need to be done on the shin­gles. These shin­gles were not a part of the orig­i­nal restora­tion in 2007, giv­ing them pri­or­ity over any other work slated for the struc­ture.

“Right now, all we have (in the bud­get) is $10,000 for the paint­ing and any work. As the quotes stand, the shin­gles would cost ap­prox­i­mately $8,000, which would need to be done be­fore any paint­ing is done. The paint­ing is es­ti­mated to cost around $7,000.” Wood said.

Wood ex­plained that the town qual­i­fies for some money in this in­stance as well, and are look­ing at a 50/50 split on main­te­nance to the struc­ture. Since paint­ing the build­ing is con­sid­ered main­te­nance, he town can qual­ify for $3,500. With re­gard to the shin­gles, they are con­sid­ered restora­tion work as op­posed to main­te­nance, be­cause the shin­gles were not a part of the orig­i­nal struc­ture. All of this means that this work will fall un­der the $10,000 bud­get money al­lo­cated for such work.

How­ever, it’s not just some new shin­gles and paint in store for the rail­way sta­tion. Given its prox­im­ity to the town’s recre­ation com­plex, as well as the new splash pad, Bay Roberts’ recre­ation di­rec­tor Ian Flynn, as well as the town’s her­itage di­rec­tor de­duced that the build­ing would serve as a great place to host a new chang­ing area for those tak­ing part in any splash pad re­lated ac­tiv­i­ties.

“The her­itage foun­da­tion al­ways smiles upon the fact that her­itage build­ings are use­able, as op­posed to just be­ing sta­tion­ary, empty struc­tures,” said Wood.

As a part of this new use, the build­ing would re­quire larger doors in or­der to make the chang­ing area wheel­chair ac­ces­si­ble. This is some­thing coun­cil will look into when the time comes.

Flynn later ex­plained to coun­cil­lors that the inside of the build­ing ac­tu­ally makes for an ideal chang­ing room, with a favourable lay­out to build both a male and fe­male chang­ing room.

“It can cer­tainly be mod­i­fied at a de­cent price, with­out hav­ing to make any ma­jor changes to the build­ing,” he said. “Ba­si­cally, we’re just mak­ing use of what’s al­ready there. You’ll still have to in­stall elec­tri­cal and plumb­ing, and still have to fol­low all those guide­lines. But, it’s still go­ing to cost less at the end of the day, be­cause we won’t have to build a build­ing, just re­model one.”

Coun. Dean Franey also spoke up about the topic, stat­ing he saw this as a good use for the rail­way sta­tion.

“I won’t mind say­ing that I was never re­ally a fan of where that build­ing was lo­cated,” he said. “But, see­ing as how it’s there, I think I’d much rather see it be put to use rather than just stand­ing there, empty. It’s there, and I guess now I’m a bit happier know­ing that it’ll have a proper use.”

Flynn also ex­plained that as of now, the inside of the build­ing has been used as some­thing of a stor­age unit, with lights and other holiday items be­ing stored there un­til their time comes. When spring rolls around, he sus­pects work­ers will carry out a spring clean­ing of the build­ing, and find a bet­ter place to hold these items.

CHRIS LEWIS – THE COM­PASS

The rail­way sta­tion sits along­side the Bay Roberts Wil­bur Sparkes Recre­ation Com­plex, as well as the town’s new splash pad, which got plenty of use dur­ing the hot sum­mer sea­son.

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