HOUGHTON — New fundraising efforts from Calumet Township to renovate the local depot are underway while restoration efforts are progressing.
Efforts to restore the Calumet Depot to its original glory continue. Calumet Township has been attempting to raise funds since they purchased the building in January. In addition to applying for grants from the state, the township has set up a crowd-funding site and hosted an Open House back in June.
“We had donations just from that particular day well over $3,000 and we have had probably another $5-10,000 in donations since then that came into the office. We also have a GoFundMe page where we are getting a few donations from the outside, but as we gather money, we’re spending it for obvious improvements for the building,” said Calumet Township Supervisor Paul Lehto.
Lehto said the building is secure now that Flood Construction has repaired staircases and installed new windows. Bricks are detaching and the foundation and the roof both need work, but Flood Construction Owner Jim Flood thinks the end result will be worth it for the community.
“The building itself is a structurally and architecturally wonderful place, so there’s a lot of reasons to save this building,” said Flood. “A really nice older lady came to me and said ‘This is what Calumet is all about, the community and getting together and doing something really positive.’ That really made me feel good because it’s true.”
Part of the restored depot will provide a public restroom and warming room for snowmobilers. Use for the rest of the depot is unclear and suggestions range from a museum to office space, but the restoration effort has already shown progress.
“Six months ago, we were just thinking stabilization and ‘How can we keep it from falling over?’ Now, we’re talking about putting all kinds of neat things in here.”
To learn more about the Calumet Depot or to make a donation, contact the Calumet Township office or visit their GoFundMe page here.