Community ranks four possible new locations for Craig depot | CraigDailyPress.com

Community ranks four possible new locations for Craig depot

Union Pacific gives the community about a year to find a new home for the historic Craig train depot

The last depot of the Moffat line crumbles as the community discusses ways to rescue one of the most endangered historic buildings in Colorado.

— Saving the Craig train depot will require between $100,000 and $1 million dollars and a move from its historic location at the south end of Yampa Avenue, as participants at two recent community meetings learned.

The depot was built in 1917. It was scheduled for demolition this year according to Sara Thompson Cassidy, director of public affairs for owner, Union Pacific. As a result of its current location between two operating tracks, the depot must be moved, if it is to be saved.

"This is our last-ditch effort to save the depot," said Christina Oxley, executive director of the Craig Chamber of Commerce who facilitated the meeting. "Union Pacific has been trying to work with the community for eight years."

The fact that the building must be moved is the only certainty in a process that has struggled to gain a clear vision.

"They (Union Pacific) are open to donating it. They have about a year and they want a plan. They want to see a unified vision," Oxley said.

Participants at the latest community meeting viewed satellite images of four possible new locations, ranking the eventual home of the depot from most to least desired.

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• Moving the building and the Marcia Car to Chamber of Commerce land to develop a new multi-use facility was the option that received the most support.

• Moving the building to Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4265 land near the Marcia Car was another popular choice. That land would need to be purchased.

• Moving the building to the Wyman Living History Museum, was almost put into action in 2008, but uncertainty about the museum's ability to finance the move has resulted in less support in recent time.

• Moving the building a short distance to the north of its current location on land that would need to be purchased from Jim Robinson, owner of Robinson Welding and Designs at 308 Yampa Ave, garnered the least support from meeting participants.

If the community does not move the building and Union Pacific demolishes it, the bricks might be salvaged and donated to the community for other projects.

The final fate of the depot depends on the community's willingness to develop a clear plan and raise a significant but as yet unknown amount of money to save the building.

"In addition to costs of moving, there are also costs of remodeling and hidden costs. Money is an issue and a huge issue for moving forward," said Randy Looper, owner of the Elk Run Inn and chairman of the co-location committee of Moffat County ACTs, exploring the feasibility of shared space for the Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership, Craig Chamber of Commerce and Moffat County Tourism Association.

Community members wanting to save the depot have been asked to form committees to gather information that will be used to create an action plan. To learn how to participate, contact the Craig Chamber of Commerce at 970-824-5689.

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com or follow her on Twitter @CDP_Education.