The eye-catching metamorphosis of the historic Kyle Train Depot is well underway and has been a hub of activity since 2011.
Led by nationally renown Clayton & Little Architects, contractor 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 of the building and gave the depot a much needed facelift by 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.
With the completion of Phase II, 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, IIIb, 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 and the relocation of the caboose onto new railroad tracks to the north of the depot. Plans are underway to offer a Memory Walk of personalized brick pavers which will be available to community members who wish to commemorate their support of this vital historic project.
"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."
Plans are for the restored depot to house a museum commemorating Kyle's rich history, as well as the Kyle Area Chamber of Commerce to greet community members and tourists alike.
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 generous donations from the Burdine Johnson Foundation, Soliref Inc., the Gregg family and numerous individual donors. At no cost to the citizens of Kyle, the city 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.
To date, the Historic Kyle Depot Restoration 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."
Follow the historic train depot progress on the city's website and become a financial supporter of this vital project by making a tax-deductible contribution using the PayPal link below or calling the city of Kyle at 512-262-3921.