ROUSES POINT - The D & H Railway Station has been a fixture of the village of Rouses Point since its erection in 1885. Today, a committee is working to bring it back to it's hayday.
According to village mayor George Rivers, everything that was in the station was moved out in the 1980s, with the building left to deteriorate. In the 1990s, the building was nearly demolished, but instead the village purchased it for $5,000.
Since the building's purchase, the Project Advisory Committee has been formed and for many years has been working to get grants and donations to bring the building back to it's origins. But money has been hard to come by.
"It was frustrating for us to watch that building because we all had a sense that we needed to do something," said revitalization project manager Melissa McManus.
However, in recent months former Congressman John McHugh has promised the committee $95,000 as a part of the stimulus package and the Department of Transportation has promised $832,000.
With the donations that have come in, the building now has nearly $1 million to transform the station.
During a meeting held by the advisory committee Nov. 9, McManus helped the community to understand the plans that are currently underway for the building, including what they hope for the interior.
"When we went out for funding, we identified some purposes we would like to see served by that building," McManus said. "The first is a museum for the village. A place where we can take all of the wonderful artifacts that people donate to our village historians office and to our historic society and house them and preserve them for the future."
Other ideas the committee has discussed include office space for the village historian, archival space for historic documents, and a welcome center.
"We realize that that's not enough space to accommodate all those and some of those things may come into conflict," said McManus. "If you're going to have artifacts, you can't have the public milling around through them and not have them protected."
The committee is working with an engineering firm, Erdman Anthony, and an architecture group, Argus Architecture, to plan out exactly how to use the building.
The plan is to have the building complete in March 2012, to follow the guidelines set by the stimulus package, in order to receive the money. But first, designs are being made which will be brought back to the community for discussion.
According to McManus, they should be able to go out to bid by December of next year, followed by the beginning of construction in 2011.
"We'll balance the historic with the modern day needs," she said.
The committee is searching for interior photos of the railway station. McManus may be contacted at 297-6753 or email@example.com.