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PH&D Offices Restoration

The Cost and Benefits

In 2019 the PH&D Railroad Historical Society took a large step on getting exact figures for total restoration of the over 5500 sq. ft. PH&D Office Bldg. This was also a time we were weighing operational costs to include paying electric, gas, our internet hosting, telephone, trash disposal, and taxes. Other maintenance costs too were included at the end of the year. These costs were put into an operational budget as well that would be needed to sustain operations at our current location. These figures were staggering and cannot be achieved on membership dues alone. 


Building restoration estimate - $485,000.00

Building elevator replacement estimate - $ 175,000.00 (or higher depending on amount of water damage to equipment)

Sewer & water installation- $ 200,000.00

SEMCO natural gas hook-up - $29,000.00


This also does not include figures for the permits to run sewer, gas, and water under the railroad tracks which may total over $15,000.

No estimates have been done on re-paving / resurfacing the parking area around our .8 acre lot. These would have to have more engineering and water drainage compliance estimates as well as possible additional permits for more under the track access to ditches.


As one can easily see, the costs of restoration and operations are very high. Partial restoration has been done on the building with 75% new windows, new roof, partial restoration of two office rooms, and removal of many rotted walls, floors, and other damaged areas of the facility.


A good ground estimate of restoration costs that would totally renew the facility and parking area is easily around $1,000,000. Just with what is listed above in actual estimates from 2019 we are at about $890,000.00. 


The PH&D RR HS Board of Directors is taking a long look at these costs and the costs of operations in the building. To sustain an operational footprint in this location would easily require sustainable income of over $1400.00 per month. That figures in all utilities, insurance, trash pickup, maintenance, and other operational costs. Again, membership dues does not support that current requirement, and this does not address costs involved in maintaining our collection of railroad cars and locomotive.


As you can see, there is a long range goal here. Once this building is finished, it has a revenue generating potential and a benefit to the local area... 


1) A completely finished building with archives and museum displays will attract visitors and donors who will potentially purchase merchandise in our store, donate funds, and also stimulate area business with their visit.


2) With a completely operational water and sewer system, we will be able to hold public events, cook and prepare food in a small kitchen, and offer basic food and drinks, and allow for gatherings without outside catered costs from vendors.


3) A complete finished building would allow for office space to be rented out to other organizations / groups who need a place to call home. This lease or rental of space would be an additional revenue for the Society.


4) A completely finished building would allow for our 2nd floor exhibit hall / open area to be used for many different purposes. This space could be rented out for special events, meetings for private groups, public education, and training for railroad personnel or special meetings.


5) A completely finished building has the potential to be a source point for local and regional emergency responder training in the area. Our second floor classroom will have large LED displays, multimedia sound systems, and the ability to have tables and chairs accommodating class sizes of 30 or more people. The adjacent railroad tracks would allow for railroad HAZMAT training equipment to be parked and staged there for realistic hands on training.


We see the costs and we see the potential benefits and we know nothing is going to come easily for the Society. If you can help us achieve this goal, please contact us.

Want to Help?

We certainly have a lot of projects and becoming a member / volunteer is a great start at helping us.

Becoming a donor / sponsor and helping us financially is another great way to help our non-profit sustain itself and grow to accomplish our goals.

If you have experience in grant writing we would welcome your assistance.

Contact us if this is something you may want to be involved with.