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The Kyle train depot, from the old days (City of Kyle photo).

STAFF REPORT

KYLE — Renovations continue to the historic Kyle train depot, which returned downtown to much fanfare 10 years ago after decades of use as a private guest house.

Once back downtown, the depot headquartered the Kyle Area Chamber of Commerce before the renovation began in 2011.

Ccontractor SpawGlass has rebuilt the building’s foundation, replaced the shingled roof with metal, and reconstructed a pair of brick chimneys reflected in original depot photographs. Phase II restored the exterior framework while repairing or replacing wood siding and existing doors and windows. The exterior also received a fresh coat of paint, returning the depot to its original historic look.

“The work that has been completed already is remarkable and substantial,” Kate Johnson, chairperson for the Kyle Train Depot Committee, said. “We still have a lot more to do, particularly in the area of fundraising, to see this through. We are truly appreciative to everyone who has given to the project so far and look forward to completing this project and returning the building to a proper public use.”

Once the restoration is complete, the Kyle chamber will return. The depot also will house a museum commemorating Kyle’s history.

The depot restoration has been largely funded by private donations and grants. The project was awarded a $25,000 grant from LCRA and has received donations from the Burdine Johnson Foundation, Soliref Inc., the Gregg family and numerous individual donors. The city also has dedicated $250,000 in funds collected through the city’s hotel occupancy tax, which can only be utilized for projects promoting local tourism such as the historic depot.

The project has raised $665,000 toward the anticipated $900,000 project total.

“We’ve obviously had some success in raising funds for this project,” Johnson said. “We also have a long way to go. We feel that this valuable icon of Kyle’s history should be preserved, and with the generous help of our community and other stakeholders, we will make that happen.”

Attention now turns to restoring the building’s interior. The work plan for Phase IIIa encompasses the installation of new electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems, as well as interior wall framing, construction of restrooms, and completion of finishing details.

The final phase of construction will bring the addition of the depot’s exterior wooden platform and accessibility ramp as well as the creation of a community plaza and restroom outbuilding, as well as the relocation of the caboose onto new railroad tracks to the north of the depot.

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