Preservation Association Secures
Structural Engineer for Train Station
WINDSOR LOCKS — The call went out, and people listened.
Fifty-five to 65 people crowded into a room at Windsor Locks Public Library, with another 20 or so in the hall and another 20 to 30 who, once they saw the crowds, turned around and left.
What drew so many people to the library on a Wednesday night? Saving the Windsor Locks Train Station.
“We were just so touched and so moved to see that many people come out to our meeting, especially during the playoffs;’ said Barbara SchIey, president of the Windsor Locks Preservation Association, Inc., a newly formed group, which now encompasses the subcommittee of the ‘let’s Save the Windsor Locks Train Station.”
Schley says due to an outpouring of support, the group has been able to find a structural engineer — The Lawrence Associates of Manchester —who will complete an engineering report for the group on the Windsor Locks Train Station at no cost. The firm will need to obtain a permit to enter upon the property from the property owner Amtrak, which will cost $300, plus any other nominal fees pertaining to entering the building. While the firm is donating the report, WLPA still needs to absorb any fees, including the permit fee and any fee involved with the report done.
The application process takes about four-to-six weeks. A structural engineering report is estimated to cost between $6,000 and $15,000 to conduct, which includes a walk-through and visual inspection of the structure, determining if there is any evidence of the building settling.
Once the report is completed, it is estimated that it will take an additional six-to-eight weeks for the site access agreement, a document that releases the responsibility of Amtrak for environmental hazards that may be found on the property. That could be completed by February ‘05.
“Things are moving quicker than I than I thought they would.” Said Schley. Schley says at the recent Oct. 27 meeting, the general consensus of those in attendance was that it was in the best interest of everyone to try to purchase the train station from Amtrak, and turn it into a functioning, possibly commercial property in town.
The group raised about $440 at that meeting, then another $520 and over 400 signatures in front of Town Hall on Election Day. Those signatures, along with others, will be presented to the town’s First Selectman, Jeff Ives.
Old Main Street. A historical postcard depicts early 1900s life
on Main Street in Windsor Locks. This postcard is circa 1910.
Postcard courtesy of the Windsor Locks Preservation Association.
Several attempts have been made in the past to save the old train station over the last 15 to 20 years, but those attempts have failed.
“If we lose this building, once we lose it, it’s gone forever:’ said Schley.
In the editorial portion of this month’s membership newsletter, Schley is quoted to say, “this old beauty deserves a chance to live.”
If you would like to support the newly formed and incorporated Windsor Locks Preservation Committee, (with the “Let’s Save the Windsor Locks Train Station” as a subcommittee) there are many ways to do so:
• Alice Williams, a local artist from Suffleld, has donated a pen-and-ink drawing of the train station that has been reproduced into holiday cards. The cost is $5 for a box of five cards and envelopes. They can be purchased at First National Bank of Suffleld, Skip’s Barber Shop, and the dry cleaner’s on Main Street. You can also call Schley at 860-798-5376. Reproduction 11” by 17” frameable prints are also available for a $20 donation.
• Memberships into the Windsor Locks Preservation Association, Inc., can be obtained through WLPA, P.O. Box 158, East Windsor, CT 06088. Individual memberships cost $10 (one-year membership); $100 for a lifetime membership.
• Monetary donations can be sent to: Windsor Locks Preservation Association, do First National Bank of Suffield, Attention: Denise Balboni, 6 National Drive, Windsor Locks, CT 06096.
• The WLPA is also seeking donations of items that can be used in a fundraising tag sale. Contact Schley if you have a donation or want more information.
The next meeting of the WLPA will be held at 6 p.m. at Windsor Locks Middle School on Nov. 10. Major updates to the project will be announced and subcommittees — including an educational programming subcommittee to reintroduce town history to the schools , headed up by Mickey Danyluk, vice president and historian for the WLPA, a fundraising committee and the train station committee will be formed.
By Jessica Ciparelli, Staff Writer, from Reminder Community News November 9, 2004 Enfield Edition. www.remindernet.com