Both city and county commissioners took part in the ceremony with shovels in hand, while close to 50 local residents gathered to look on.
“It’s obvious that there is public support for this,” Cedartown City Manager, Barry Atkison said as he looked at the large crowd that turned out despite the cold weather.
The depot has been over four years in the making, as it was finally given the go-ahead in 1999 thanks to a joint effort by former city officials, after the idea had previously been rejected by the city.
According to Main Street Manager Jim Kelly, the completion of the depot should be in late-August, allowing it to coincide with the completion of the Silver Comet Trail section that will run parallel with the railroad tracks across Main Street.
The structure is being built on the east side of Main Street, just south of the present CSX rail line, which is still in use.
The Cedartown Depot’s main function will be housing various offices. Cedartown’s Welcome Center will take up residence there, as well as the Down Town Cedartown Association and the Chamber of Commerce Satellite Service Center. The depot will feature a “Silver Comet Trail museum” as well, which Kelly hopes will be supported by the Cedartown Historical Society and feature local history and artifacts from Cedartown’s most notable citizens.
The depot will also serve as a rest area for all those who walk, run and bike the Silver Comet Trail.
The grandiose look of the depot will be reminiscent of the original Cedartown Depot of the Seaboard Railway, and much like its predecessor, will feature what Kelly called, “a passenger shed for bicyclists and walkers.”
A budget of $500,000 has been set aside for the depot, which Kelly said is coming from the Transportation Enhancement Grants that were created just for projects of this type.
Cedartown’s new depot will also serve as the eventual starting point for the Greenway Trail, which will connect and join all of Cedartown’s parks.