Archive for Sunday, April 10, 2011

Kansas application for federal funds would go toward renovating Santa Fe Depot

April 10, 2011


— Florida’s loss may be Lawrence’s gain.

When Florida Gov. Rick Scott rejected $2.4 billion in federal funds to build a high-speed rail project in his state, federal officials put the money up for grabs for other states.

Kansas was one of 24 states, along with Amtrak, to submit an application for a portion of the funding.

The Kansas application would be for $1.1 million and would go toward renovation and restoration of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe depot.

The application was made by the Kansas Department of Transportation and would include a match of $283,786 from the city of Lawrence.

“KDOT was very excited and supportive of submitting an application for our project,” said Carey Maynard-Moody, president of Depot Redux, which is wanting to restore the depot at Seventh and New Jersey streets.

“If this money is available, it would just be a dream come true,” she said.

After Florida’s governor canceled a project that would have connected Tampa and Orlando with high-speed trains, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood opened the funding up to other projects that could deliver public and economic benefits. The department received 90 applications totaling more than $10 billion.

Among those was a proposal from Amtrak for $1.3 billion to improve service between Boston and Washington, D.C. The state of Missouri applied for nearly $1 billion in funding for high-speed rail service between St. Louis and Kansas City.

“What we heard from the feds is that they got tons more applications than they had money,” said Steve Swartz, spokesman for KDOT.

No date has been determined on when the projects will be selected but Maynard-Moody was hopeful.

“It would be wonderful if all our ships came in,” she said.


Robert Rauktis 6 years, 10 months ago

Anyhow, if they need to give away money, how about $100,000 for my new dog's dish?

julienstockwell 6 years, 10 months ago


Lawrence, come on: if you're going to make up an arbitrary number, don't repeat an eight! Where is the imagination in that? An original number would really make that bid pop.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 10 months ago

Cheaper than whizzing away $20M to make a Pakistan version of Sesame Street.

newmedia 6 years, 10 months ago

Santa Fa? Judy Garland would regurgitate.

Jeanne Cunningham 6 years, 10 months ago

Ok. I get that errors happen. But, it's 6 hours since the first post about the headline having "Fe" spelled "Fa". Seems as if someone could have corrected it by now?

Kawatchi 6 years, 10 months ago

What is the expected benefit of this renovation? I realize the train station is a dump, but nobody uses it anyway.

overthemoon 6 years, 10 months ago

As was the UP station until some visionary folks saved it. It is in constant use now and a real gem and the entry to our city.

Kawatchi 6 years, 10 months ago

That's all well and good. I would just be interested to see if they have a vision for this being an asset to the community, or merely a pointless project to fix up what was never a particularly relevant building .

KS 6 years, 10 months ago

With all due respect, this is a classic example of why our Federal Govt. is BROKE! Why in the world do we need to spend the money on this building anyway? It is not a classic buidling. For $1.1 million, you could knock it down and put up a pretty nice builiding. Can't imagine spending that much on a remodel.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 10 months ago

Well, if we don't apply for the money for our useless project, some other community will apply for the money for their useless project.

overthemoon 6 years, 10 months ago

It is a classic building representative of MidCentury modern design. Classic isn't just 19th century copies of 18th century copies of Greek or Roman ruins. And for 1.1 million these days, you get plastic stucco box crap.

Investment in projects like this bring jobs, create public resources out of existing facilities and have a ripple effect on the surrounding neighborhood...look at the Van Go building across the street. Fabulous. A couple more projects in that area and you start having an arts or community district that becomes a real asset to the entire city. Even for those who haven't the gray matter to appreciate them.

overthemoon 6 years, 10 months ago

And do remember that the buildings we now cherish as 'classic' and 'historic' were at one point considered ugly monstrosities by the children of their builders.

james bush 6 years, 10 months ago

Our universities teach people to write grant applications so that the ruling class, dem or repub, will return our tax money, which should never have been collected in the 1st place, to spend on unnecessary things.

50YearResident 6 years, 10 months ago

From the picture it looks like work is already being done. I think if the railroad owns the building and the land they should be the ones to pay for the renovations if they are really necessary. But the RR convienced someone in Lawrence that the City of Lawrence should stand the cost or beg the government for it. Slick work on the RR's part to sell the building for $1 to a city that then has to renovate it at a cost of well over $500,000 and the RR gets to continue to use the building, keeps the land and does not pay 1 red cent. Whoopee! Great sales job.

BigPrune 6 years, 10 months ago

$1,100,000 / 4,700 square foot building = $234.04 per square foot.

THAT is ridiculous! What does the cost / benefit analysis say that the progressives always want done when something new wants to go in?

How many people use this depot daily, a handful?

A brand new Butler type building could be had for a third the cost.

overthemoon 6 years, 10 months ago

"A brand new Butler type building could be had for a third the cost." It is that sort of attitude which has rendered the American urban landscape faceless and bleak. The result is the architectural equivalent of litter.

Kawatchi 6 years, 10 months ago

This is not some iconic Lawrence landmark we are talking about here. I am all for interesting and compelling architecture, but why does this seldom used building have to be subsidized by taxpayers?

50YearResident 6 years, 10 months ago

City of Lawrence has a history of bailing people out of condemed property and taking over the expense of repairs or demolation. Purchase examples, Bowersock Mills condemed property where the City Hall now stands, the Dam repair so the electric generator could continue to opperate, Farmland Industries purchase and now bailing out the RR from any responsibility on that building. Maybe it's time for Lawrence to consider changing from temperary commissioners and mayor to another form of government.

overthemoon 6 years, 10 months ago

What about the Union Pacific Station? That is a major success and a real asset to the city. And the Carnegie Library...should we have torn that down and built a butler building instead?

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