MOUNT VERNON — Ink has yet to meet paper on the deal to move The Station Break into the former Dan Emmett Conference Center, but members of Foundation Park Conservancy are pushing forward to convert the old railway station into a showpiece for the park and the trail system.
The group plans to create an entrance into Foundation Park from the South Main Street location and design a trail center from the former Cleveland Akron Columbus Depot that will be a stop along the River to Lake trail system.
“The city of Westerville had to build one from the ground up,” said Michael Percy, speaking on behalf of the park conservancy. “We already have a gem here.”
Percy said preliminary plans include rehabilitation of the picnic area including vending machines, kayak and bike racks and accessible parking.
Plans are still in the works regarding the inside of the building but expects it to include a trail center where guests can learn about Foundation Park and the Knox County Park District. A proposed drawing includes a visitor’s center, restrooms and three offices. Percy said the group is waiting until The Station Break makes its move before it will bring in an architect.
Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Mavis said the closing date on the conference center has been moved to July 10. It will take two weeks after that date for the move to be completed.
At this point, there has been no dollar amount attached to the project, mostly because of access to the building, Percy said. The conservancy expects to start seeking community donations as soon as plans are finalized.
“We are the middle of the link from the River to the Lake,” Percy said. “We have an opportunity to attract a lot of people, and bring those people to downtown.”