Interior renovations of the Santa Fe Depot building are expected to be finished this month before exterior work begins. 

Assistant City Manager Kevin Boatright said the building should be completely restored and ready to be turned back over to Ardmore Main Street Authority by the end of March. 

Some of the interior renovations being finished up include glazing on the windows, new ceiling tiles, a drop ceiling and new flooring in the restrooms. Outside of the depot, paint and cabinetry work is being finished up in the restrooms where the old passenger waiting area used to be, Boatright said. 

“Right now all of those things are coming together and those items should be done this month and then we hope that the exterior of the building will start…(next) week,” he said. 

They’ll be actually tearing out where all the deficiencies are, all the cracks and where it’s falling off and they’ll repair all of those. Then they’ll put basically what I would call a skim coat that matches the color all the way around, so where they’ve patched it you can’t see. So it will all match on the outside.”

The skim coat also has a bonding agent that helps seal the repairs while remaining aesthetically pleasing and keeping everything the same color. 

Boatright said it’s been an interesting project with a few minor problems here and there, but in historic buildings, that’s normal. 

“I can tell you from experience, every older building that I’ve ever been involved in construction or renovation with, you always turn up one or two things that you were not expecting to find,” he said. “So those delayed us a little bit, but we’re happy,” he said, adding they are probably 70 to 75 percent complete with the project. 

The community rooms inside the depot building will likely be available to rent by April 1. The project was funded by the city through the Community Enhancement Fund, totaling more than $430,000. 

As far as work at Depot Park goes, AMSA General Manager Jeff DiMiceli said the Mercy train in front of Whittington Park has been completely restored and they just received plans for the foundation it will sit on in Depot Park. 

“We will be addressing that in the next few weeks,” DiMiceli said. 

Fundraising efforts are still underway for the $2.7 million park. The AMSA received a $150,000 grant for construction of the park in November and DiMiceli said the cost of refurbishing and relocating the train is covered, but he was unsure of how much more money needs to be raised before reaching their goal.