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[Martinsburg] Roundhouse news

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Roundhouse set for bridge

Article information: "Roundhouse set for bridge, By NAOMI SMOOT, Journal Staff Writer, 3/24/2007"

Key --

1. $1 million project was projected to be done in July 2005.

2. Bridge installed at 8:30 AM 3/24/6.

3. Stairs and an elevator still need to be completed on the roundhouse's side of the walkway, along with exterior brick construction.

4. Completion date is set for July 21 -- so that visitors to 2007 Rail Days can use it.

5. Connects the Caperton Train Station to the Martinsburg Roundhouse Complex.

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Roundhouse being transformed

By NAOMI SMOOT, The Journal [Martinsburg], June 29, 2007

The Martinsburg Roundhouse Center is slowly being restored to its former glory. Initially constructed in 1848 as a service center of sorts for trains traveling the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, it suffered extensive damage at the hands of Colonel Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson and his troops. The B&O restored the facility in 1866 and continued using it until the 1980s. Shortly after it was closed, it was vandalized.

In April 2000, after nearly 10 years of abandonment, members of the Berkeley County Commission agreed to purchase the property and hand it over to the Berkeley County Roundhouse Authority for care and reconstruction. The group has since been given $7.5 million to $8 million for the cause.

A new office was recently constructed inside the main roundhouse building. A pedestrian bridge is also under construction -- which spans several active railroad tracks. Once complete, it will allow visitors to walk from the nearby Martinsburg-Berkeley County Convention and Visitors Bureau to the roundhouse. It is expected to be complete in time for this year's Rail Days festival. Other work includes new windows in the first of the two roundhouse buildings, and inside the building is a caboose that was previously office space. The caboose is slated for repairs and will serve as an illustration of the many railroad cars that were once inside the building. Other cars might be added in the future.

In the Blacksmith shop, which is adjacent to the roundhouse, artifacts are starting to accumulate for a future museum. Work has also been completed in the nearby Bridge and Machine Shop. The second floor of the building sports new floors, windows, and has been completely renovated. It was most recently the site of a Martinsburg Main Street mixer. The 10,000 sq. ft. room may be hosting more social events in the future, and could be converted into offices later as an on-going revenue source.

The agency has applied for a $1.3 million federal grant for 2008 that will further renovations on the room and the building. The money will go towards a two-story addition on the rear, which will contain restrooms, heating, and air conditioning equipment. Additional funds will be sought, especially for the second roundhouse building that is still in disrepair.

Most of the money in the past has been spent on renovations. A decent chunk of the funding has come from Senator Robert C. Byrd (D-WV).

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