Every morning at 5:30, Marty Kennedy volunteers to go to the Amtrak train station in East Lawrence to greet people getting on and off the train.
"Welcome to Lawrence!" Kennedy said, as he led us inside the station.
Two passenger trains go in and out of the depot every day and Kennedy's embarrassed by the first impression the train station gives Lawrence. The roof leaks, the clock doesn't work, the air conditioner's broken and some of the doors won't open.
Now Kennedy and a group of concerned citizens are ready to spruce up the building.
"We're going to see if this '56 relic can be reused and really enjoyed by the community," he said.
But, it could get expensive to renovate. It will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to make the entryways and restrooms ADA compliant by 2010. Altogether, preliminary estimates put the cost of repairs at $500,000.
The railroad's offered to sell the building to the city of Lawrence for $1, but Vice-mayor Rob Chestnut said the city shouldn't have to take on all the repair costs.
"The railroad, in my mind, has a responsibility to maintain that facility now as a private property owner," Chestnut said. "My hope is, is that even as we move into negotiations, that they'll start to do some repairs."
Chestnut was the only commissioner to vote against entering into negotiations with the railroad to purchase the building. Now's not the time, he said.
But, the group of concerned citizens is glad the city is jumping on board its plans to revitalize the building.
The group is planning a thorough cleanup of the depot in the next several days.
About 3,700 customers use the Amtrak depot each year.