Asbestos being removed from train depot

Work makes way for interior restoration

by Trish Rudder

Contractors removing asbestos materials from the historic Berkeley Springs train depot at the north end of town are expected to wrap up work by the end of this week.

Safeco Services, Inc. of Dilliner, Pa., the environmental firm hired to remove the hazardous materials such as asbestos, PCBs and Mercury in the old depot building, should be finished by Thursday, February 17, said town officials.

Safeco secured the contract to do the work with a $10,670 bid last fall.

Town of Bath Recorder Susan Webster said last week that she talked with John Ballard, project manager for Safeco, and emphasized that workers need to be finished because a pre-bid meeting is to be held at the Depot on February 17 at 10 a.m. to discuss interior restoration work.

Removal of the asbestos has to be done before any other renovations can move ahead.

A representative from the Mills Group, an interior design firm, will be at the pre-bid meeting, Webster said.

Former Train Depot committee chair, John McCracken, said in a March 2019 memo to Mayor Scott Merki that the current funding available to rehabilitate the depot interior was $230,000.

The town was awarded a $290,000 federal Transportation Alternatives grant in 2015 that is to be used toward the design of the interior restoration, hazardous material remediation, waterproofing of the depot’s cellar, electrical and plumbing upgrades.

McCracken, who passed away last October, had said that the HVAC system was already done, “which was adequate.”

He had said the interior work involves plumbing the unisex restroom and widening the doors to become ADA compliant.

“The construction work is very small,” he’d said.

Webster, who is now chairperson of the depot project committee, said last week that “my understanding of the restroom situation is that the one directly off the main room is the ADA unisex bathroom. The other restroom will be rehabilitated, but not necessarily a public restroom.”

Webster said two ADA bathrooms would be “more expensive and maybe not doable with the space available.”

Webster said if there is money left after the upgrades, she would like to use some for an outside bathroom on the property.