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Push to refurbish former Coraopolis train station falls short of $75K goal

| Thursday, May 7, 2015, 10:29 a.m.
The Coraopolis Community Development Foundation is considering other options after raising 6 percent of its $75,000 goal to to repair the roof of the Coraopolis train station. The station is shown here on Thursday March 12, 2015.
Sidney Davis | Trib Total Media
The Coraopolis Community Development Foundation is considering other options after raising 6 percent of its $75,000 goal to to repair the roof of the Coraopolis train station. The station is shown here on Thursday March 12, 2015.

Leaders of a project to refurbish the former Coraopolis train station expressed disappointment that a crowdfunding effort fell well short of its $75,000 goal, but said they have other options to keep the project alive.

An online campaign at Indiegogo.com ended Sunday after raising just $4,306, or 6 percent, of the cost to put a new roof on the building to prevent further deterioration.

“It falls short of our goal, and we're disappointed, but on the other hand, we gained a lot of awareness and gained the help of other people” willing to work on the project once the roof is repaired, said Sam Jampetro, director of the Coraopolis Community Development Foundation.

The station was designed by architects Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge in Richardsonian Romanesque style, and was completed in 1895 for the Pennsylvania & Lake Erie Railroad.

Members of the foundation bought the property in 2006, aiming to restore the long-vacant station for a café and reading room where artifacts of Coraopolis history could be displayed. The work would cost $1.2 million to $1.6 million.

Jampetro and Chris Rolinson of Coraopolis, who created a video about the train station project that accompanied the Indiegogo online plea, said the foundation will await a response from Allegheny County officials this summer about a grant application.

Rolinson said the foundation also is exploring other ways to raise money, or to make the roof project less expensive.

One way to reduce the cost could be to use pieces of slate from the station's porte cochere, or porch, where vehicles once dropped off or picked up train passengers. The structure is not original to the building, and if the slate can be used on the main station it could save money compared to a total roof replacement. The porte cochere then would be demolished.

The preservation group has sent slate samples to a Grove City firm that will determine whether the material still is useful. If so, the firm could keep the current slate on the station roof, repair it using pieces from the porte cochere and replace the copper flashing and gullies, Rolinson said.

Rolinson said the group plans to send a mailing to residents in the 15108 and 15143 ZIP codes to build awareness of the project.

The foundation also plans a presence at the Coraopolis Memorial Day Parade. Visitors who pass the Community Development office on Fifth Avenue will see pictures of the station, and can donate to the project.

Sandra Fischione Donovan is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.

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