Doug Holle, P.E., recently spoke at the Blair Train Depot dedication ceremony on Saturday, June 29, 2013 in Blair, Neb. Schemmer performed Construction Engineering and Contract Administration on the project and was proud to help put a piece of Blair’s history back into the community as a 21st-century park pavilion. The Omaha World Herald article, titled “Steaming into the 21st-century: New look, new purpose for Blair’s last train depot,” covers the train depots journey.
Six years after saving the last train depot in Blair from demolition, historians, railroad enthusiasts and the Blair community were proud the 1880 depot finally found a home in Lions Club Park. Its home is steps from the former bed of the Omaha Road — one of the rail lines that the building served for 30 years — and 300 yards northwest of its original location. The project first started in 2007 and the goal was to keep a piece of Blair’s history and put it to good use. A $456,000 federal grant, a $160,000 match from the city and other grants allowed the depot to be renovated and it’s a usable structure for the community again. The funding repaired walls and floors, built two chimneys, replaced doors, windows, siding and roof and provided four-season weatherization. Exterior, elevated patios resemble old train platforms. It will serve as a bicycle trailhead, picnic shelter and performance site. The building may also be used for interpretative transportation displays showcasing the city’s early rail history and its link to the Lincoln Highway, the nation’s first transcontinental road.
To read the more about the train depot from the Omaha World Herald article click here.