Lavonia Train Depot Renovations Continuing

By MJ Kneiser, WLHR Radio, Lavonia

Work should be done ahead of schedule on the Lavonia train depot renovation.

Crews have been working for the past seven weeks to take the building back to how it looked when it first opened in 1912.

Originally scheduled to be completed in December, Lavonia City Manager Gary Fesperman says it now looks like the work will be done in November.

Crews are restoring the original ticket master office in the front of the depot, along with the front and central waiting rooms. The central waiting room will be used as a small meeting room. The kitchen area that was located between that central meeting room and the old freight room in the back has been ripped out to reveal the original baggage area.

Fesperman says crews discovered when they took off the dry wall, that much of the tongue and groove clapboard that had been the original depot walls had been destroyed over the years by termites and needed to be replaced. Termites were also found is some parts of the original hard pine flooring.

That, he says, has led to some cost over-runs.

The total estimated cost on the train depot renovation is $120,000 for all three phases. It’s being paid for with federal and state grants and city reserve funds.

Once complete, the depot will again house the Downtown Development Authority office, community meeting rooms, and the Lavonia Historical Society Museum.

This is the depot’s Centennial.

A citywide open house and centennial celebration is planned in December in conjunction with the city’s holiday festivities.