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Old Railroad Depot Being Restored in St. Clairsville

Photo by Robert A. DeFrank Vincent Diprosperis of Wheeling, a student at Belmont College, scrapes paint off a window on a century-old railroad depot in St. Clairsville. The city plans to restore the depot.

Students have been hard at work for the past two weeks on initial renovations of the century-old railroad depot on Sugar Street.

Students from Belmont College were climbing scaffolding on the exterior last week while others cleared out the interior. About six students participated.

“We’re demo-ing the inside of this old railroad depot. We’re taking out the ceiling right now,” student Vincent Diprosperis of Wheeling said on the first day of work. He was busy scraping paint off window frames and said he found the chance to work on the structure valuable.

“I’ve never done demolition before, but I’ve painted a Victorian house, which is in the same area of restoration,” he said.

“This is our community field lab,” Dina Chatelain, student from California, said. “We do one every summer.”

Derrick Smith, adjunct instructor at Belmont College, teaching field lab courses, supervised the work.

“We’re going to get the windows straightened up. We had taken those out previously and restored those with a prior class,” he said.

He added one major component was taking down a damaged brick chimney outside the building. The students also performed structural timberwork on the inside of the building.

Smith said they hope to have everything cleaned and the windows restored by the end of two weeks.

“Make sure everything is structurally sound and stable so that the city of St. Clairsville can move forward,” he said, adding the age and structure carries a set of challenges.

“It’s a timber frame structure so that requires some special skills and knowledge and tools in order to properly replicate the pieces. There’s going to be some shoring. We have to make sure that the building is shored and stable before we change anything or move anything around,” Smith said.

He added the students enjoyed the chance to learn in a real-world construction setting.

“All the stuff that the students learn at the college, the practices and techniques, are applied,” Smith said. “They’re applying the skills that they learned in windows and doors restoration class, window work, traditional glazing, painting, paint removal, wood repairs.”

The depot could be a potential trail-head for the bike trail, which terminates near the St. Clairsville-Richland City School District campus.


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