- Associated Press - Thursday, March 5, 2015

VALPARAISO, Ind. (AP) - The historic Grand Trunk railroad depot will soon be put to new use in its new location.

Over two days in July, the depot was moved to the grounds of the Porter County Career and Technical Center.

The facility, at Calumet Avenue and Bush Street, was no longer needed by Canadian National but was spared from demolition.

At a recent Valparaiso Site Review Committee meeting, PCCTC Principal Jon Groth and architect Brent Wagner presented their plans for the depot, which will add usable space to a center that has reached capacity.

Groth said the 3,200-square-foot building will be used for classroom, computer lab and auditorium space. He expects it to be ready in time for the 2016-17 school year, The (Munster) Times reported (https://bit.ly/1FXV5m8 ).

“There’s a lot of work to do and I probably have half the money it’s going to take,” Groth said.

During a tour of the depot for The Times, Groth said he plans to hold fundraising events to offer attendees a chance to see the depot in its current stage. Once renovation is finished inside, Groth said windows hidden by a suspended ceiling will be exposed.

“We’re going to have a ton of natural light in here,” he said.

Groth said he plans to make the depot as sustainable as possible, including using solar and geothermal power. Plans are for a boardwalk to be constructed around the building. Groth said they plan to reconfigure the depot parking lot as well.

Original plans for the depot from 1912 show a separate men’s and women’s waiting area, with the men’s area having access to a smoking room. The price tag on the building was listed at $8,600.

Groth said they plan to have some train artifacts kept in the depot, including old photos.

“We are very excited,” he said. “I’m excited about the support I got from the city and the community.”

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Information from: The Times, https://www.thetimesonline.com

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