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Lula looking at designs for train depot renovations
08312017 DEPOT
Lula is looking at designs for renovations to its historic downtown train depot. - photo by Carlos Galarza

Lula officials are moving quickly to choose a design for renovations to the historic train depot located in the heart of the northeast Hall County community and seek contract bids from potential construction firms.

“Timelines are critical for success,” Mayor Jim Grier said.

Private parties such as weddings, reunions and baby showers; business luncheons; school and club group meetings; exercise classes; and staging for farmers’ markets, classic car rallies, public movie screenings and garden shows are just a few of the potential uses for the depot once renovations are complete.

City officials said they hope to begin renovations to the depot following the annual Railroad Days festival in mid-May.

Councilman Mordecai Wilson said he expects the new Lanier Technical College campus being constructed on Ga. 365 to bring “more people this way.”

Officials are considering three design proposals with cost estimates ranging from about $140,000 to $170,000, though City Manager Dennis Bergin has cautioned that the renovations could take place in as many as three phases and far exceed an initial budget of $160,000 identified by city officials last year.

Officials said that because they don’t want to book the depot as a venue for events prior to renovations, they are likely to ask a local church to hold its upcoming yard sale at a different location.

“We really haven’t scheduled any events prior to renovation,” Grier said.

“If we start booking it for one …” Bergin said, echoing Grier’s sentiment. “We all wish we were further along than we are.”