- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 19, 2015

COLUMBUS, Neb. (AP) - Demolition work is set to begin this week on the old Union Pacific depot in Columbus.

Crews will begin removing pieces from the building’s interior Wednesday before the depot ultimately is razed, said Mark Davis, Union Pacific director of corporate relations and media. He told the Columbus Telegram (http://bit.ly/1LdTMmx ) that total demolition of the structure estimated to be more than 100 years old will likely take weeks to finish.

Union Pacific moved into a new depot in Columbus earlier this year. Davis said a new location was needed because of the age and condition of the old building.

The railroad asked the city if it wanted to purchase the building before it was torn down. But City Administrator Joe Mangiamelli saving the depot would be too costly because it couldn’t remain at its current location due to its close proximity to the railroad tracks. The projected price tag to relocate the building was $750,000.

“We didn’t have the money. We didn’t have any plan for reuse. We didn’t have any community interest come forward to suggest how it would be reused, so we basically had to pass on the opportunity,” Mangiamelli said.

City officials have gone inside the building to collect pieces, including an old bench, before it’s demolished. Director Cheri Schrader of the Platte County Historical Museum was one of the last people allowed into the old depot.

“The Platte County Museum does have some artifacts and photos from the depot on display, so even when the building is gone, everyone can still remember the way it was,” Schrader said.

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Information from: Columbus Telegram, http://www.columbustelegram.com

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