IOWA DERECHO 2020

Historic train depot to receive repairs in Marion after derecho

Cost of repairs is covered by insurance

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds tours the storm damage at Marion Square Park with Marion Mayor Nick AbouAssaly in Marion, Iowa, o
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds tours the storm damage at Marion Square Park with Marion Mayor Nick AbouAssaly in Marion, Iowa, on Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020. Reynolds and Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg saw the damage from Monday’s inland hurricane as they visited communities across the state. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

MARION — Marion’s train depot in City Square Park soon will be repaired after being heavily damaged in last August’s derecho.

At its meeting Tuesday evening, the Marion City Council was presented a motion from the city’s Parks and Recreation department to approve a contract with Point Builders for repairs.

Point Builders, located in Cedar Rapids, was the only company to bid for the contract.

The depot was built in 1892 and was moved to City Square Park in 1990, City Parks and Recreation Interim Director Seth Staashelm said.

The roof and a couple of columns are from the initial construction. The columns were identified and saved during derecho cleanup, Staashelm said.

The structure’s northside roof was taken out by a fallen tree during the derecho, which brought wind of more than 100 mph to Eastern Iowa and damaged many buildings and trees in Cedar Rapids and Marion.

The project, which includes “roof repair, alteration in the apron, electrical and pavers,” according to the contract, will cost $72,475. The total cost will be covered by insurance.

The contract between the city and Point Builders states that the work has a substantial completion date of “no later than May 14,” with a “final completion no later than June 15.”

Staashelm said the city also is working with Martin Gardner Architecture as the repairs are made.

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The city is “ensuring we are making repairs and not compromising any of the cultural or historic significance,” Staashelm told The Gazette on Tuesday. “It is important to us and the community to maintain the historic integrity of this community asset.”

Staashelm told the council Tuesday evening that the repairs will include moving the porch except for on the south side.

The plan also calls for removing shutters over the windows, allowing more light into the depot.

Staashelm added that as the city moves forward with its plaza upgrade project, there needs to be “future visioning” about the depot’s place and usefulness in the park.

“There is a lack of light,” he told the council. “It’s not one of the most attractive facilities to rent, but the location is great and there’s huge historical significance.”

The council will vote to approve the contract during Thursday’s formal session.

Comments: (319) 398-8255; gage.miskimen@thegazette.com

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