10/12/07 — Plan for station closer to debut

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Plan for station closer to debut

By Anessa Myers
Published in News on October 12, 2007 2:31 PM

Architect David Gall isn't in his yellow construction hat today -- at least not at Union Station.

Now, he has his pencil out and is starting to turn his vision of a revitalized train station into a concrete development plan.

He was at the station two weeks ago, walking through the dust and debris, looking for any piece of an historical element to save. From doorknobs to crown molding and original paint, he found most of what he was looking for, and he was excited about it.

He was even surprised at how much of the building was kept intact.

"If you don't mind me saying, this is the jewel of Goldsboro," he said.

After working with crews to stake out and measure the once-abandoned building, he went back to his office and started to draw.

Now, he, and Union Station's progress, are one step closer to being complete.

He finished computerized floor plans of the crawl space, first floor and second floor.

The first- and second-floor plans illustrate where all of the walls will be at various levels of the building as well as both original historical construction and contemporary work that was added over the years.

"We want to keep as much of the historical fabric as we can," he said.

The roof plan shows all of the roof slopes, gutters and downspouts.

With all of the floor plans, they basically have a complete view of the building, Gall said.

What needs to be done now is drawing the exterior wall and elevation plans, and he said his firm is on target.

"We have that in progress now," he said.

The completed floor and elevation plans will be sent to the company's team leader, Simpson Engineering in Cary, to be reviewed.

Then it is NCDOT's turn to look them over.

Gall's job doesn't stop there, though.

"The next step in the process after we get those drawings approved would be to prepare general demolition drawings and specifications as well," he said.

General demolition will remove old outside buildings around the train station that will no longer be utilized, he explained.

And after that demolition comes another.

"We will then do selective demolition drawings," he said. "Selective demolition will be for the building itself. It means you are being very selective about what is being removed and what is being left behind."

Gall said officials plan to remove the contemporary elements and leave behind the historic ones.

His estimation is that demolition will begin within the next three to six months, but he admits it is a guess at best.

The main job, he said, is the rehabilitation of the building, and that is more than a year off.

NCDOT Rail Division spokeswoman Joan Bagher-pour agreed.

"The earliest that we could see them getting to stabilization of the building would be sometime next summer," she said.

Once the building is stabilized, restoration can take place, but Ms. Bagherpour said that getting to the restoration stage might take years.

"It's hard to say how long until we get there," she said. "You never know what's going to happen, but we are seeking additional funds for restoration. We want the reuse to be a multi-modal station."

The whole process really takes a while, Gall explained.

"It just takes a lot of careful time to get the drawings for the work," he said. "We want to make sure that the construction people fully know what needs to be protected -- all the historical fabric needs protected -- and what needs to be added. And do as little damage as possible to the historical building when things are added."