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Changes to depot presented

Alex Doty • Mar 23, 2017 at 10:00 AM

Architects and engineers continue to refine the vision of the future of Grand Haven’s Waterfront Stadium and the nearby Depot Museum.

Representatives from Progressive AE showed off a concept for modifications to the depot, 1 N. Harbor Ave., which are based on discussions about alternative uses for the space and how it could be incorporated with improvements to stadium.

The design includes renovations to the depot’s interior so that it could to be used as event space, and an expansion of the building on the waterfront side. The addition would be enclosed with glass and would serve as a viewing area for stadium shows and as more event space.

“I think that will be really wonderful space that will be in demand year-round,” architect Jim Horman told City Council during a special work session Wednesday night.

There would also be an addition on the north of the depot which would house bathrooms, catering and concessions space, a ticket area, and a mechanical area.

Horman noted that they also toyed with an option that added a covered patio area on the back of the museum in lieu of the glass-enclosed addition — an option members of City Council were more receptive to.

The budget for the initial depot renovation concept would likely cost about $1.5 million to $1.8 million, and the patio option would likely reduce the overall cost, officials said. If City Council decides to add the depot project to the stadium work, the cost of the Waterfront Stadium project would be between $4.5 million and $5 million.

Related Story: Gallery of the Week: Inside the Train Depot Museum

McGinnis said the city already has about $3.3 million in the bank for the project, and he said he expects more donors to come forward once designs are finalized.

“There are likely a number of donors that we’ve preliminarily approached waiting to see what they can put their name on,” he explained.

McGinnis noted that the stadium renovation project could begin after Labor Day this year.

“We’ve got some pressure to move forward with a design in the next couple of weeks here to keep with the schedule,” he said.

City Council will likely have additional discussions about the depot project and design during its regular meeting this coming Monday night. A decision on the depot and stadium project could occur as early as April. 

Last year, City Council approved conceptual plans for the stadium revamp. The new design will replace the stadium-style bleacher setup with tiered seating built into the landscape, a new band shell and stage, a waterfront lawn area for additional seating, space for volleyball and seasonal recreation, winter firepits, restroom and dressing room facilities, and various sculptural and decorative elements.

The former Grand Trunk Railroad depot was built in 1870. It has been leased to the Tri-Cities Historical Museum since 1972.

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