A ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday at 11 a.m. will mark the transition from rail to bus service.
The Cleveland Community Concert Band will begin the morning with railroad songs at 10:45. Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland will act as master of ceremonies and introduce the guest speaker, Tom Thomson, deputy regional administrator for Region IV of the Federal Transit Administration.
Parking for the ribbon cutting will be available at the Museum Center at Five Points. The mayor encouraged all veterans, who departed Cleveland from the train station or family members who watched them leave for the military, to attend the ceremony.
After a few brief remarks by Thomson, Rowland and Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis will present a plaque to Ray Evans, who is retiring after more than 30 years as executive director of Southeast Tennessee Human Resource Agency.
Evans was recently presented the 2012 Founders’ Award for his contributions to improving mobility at the local, regional, state and national levels by the Community Transportation Association at its annual awards banquet in Baltimore.
The depot will still function as a transportation hub though its purpose will serve the Cleveland Urban Area Transit System instead of the railroad. CUATS officials are hopeful of occupying the building the week after the Fourth of July.
Evans envisions the bus traffic helping to revitalize the Five Points area. The depot will feature a historical display and small retail area in the lobby where dispatchers will be stationed. The north end of the building is reserved for offices and the south end will be a break room for drivers. There will be a total of about 30 employees moving to the building. Tri-Con Construction is renovating the depot that was built in 1909 at a cost of $17,400, including the property. The building was placed on the National and Tennessee Register of Historic Places in April 2008.
Rowland said Friday morning the hardwood floor looks brand new.
The depot was restored in two phases. The first phase included grading the entrance and exit to the property, building retaining walls, replacing a section of sewer line and manhole, and erecting a fence between the depot and railroad tracks.
The $208,000 for Phase I was a 100 percent grant through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 through the Federal Transit Administration to the local transit system and SETHRA.
The second and final phase was paid for by an 80/20 matching Transportation Enhancement program, also using ARRA funds passed through the Tennessee Department of Transportation and the city of Cleveland. The federal government’s share was $451,000 and SETHRA was responsible for about $113,000 for the original contract. Two change orders increased the cost of the second phase.
The most recent change order called for switching from the original terra cotta tile to a lighter simulated tile made of aluminum, an increase to the original contract amount of $3,808. The revised contract amount was $604,521 as of April 9.
The roof will have the appearance of the original terra cotta tile, but the new aluminum tiles weigh less and are more maintenance-friendly.