CAIRO CITY MANAGER Chris Addleton thanked the citizens who took part in two charettes on Thursday that focused on future uses of the local train depot. The event was organized by the U.G.A. Archway Partnership.
Imagining Cairo’s historic train depot as a future restaurant, museum or welcome center was an exercise in creativity for the more than 50 people who participated in two public idea sessions Thursday.
The groups of community members toured the facility, which currently houses the Cairo Police Department, then brainstormed possible uses for it since the police headquarters is moving to a new building now under construction.
Several representatives of the Grady County Historical Society attended both the morning and evening sessions, which were held at 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. at The Foundry in downtown Cairo. They voiced their desires for the space to be used as a train history exhibit.
Hampton Ward, a former Cairo resident who graduated from Cairo High School in 1959 and has already donated large model train displays that are set up inside the Grady County Museum & History Center, attended the evening session.
Ward told the crowd that he would be interested in donating a larger “G” scale model train installation for the train depot should that be a community desire. His offer was widely supported by those in attendance.
Most of the suggestions for the depot’s future use fell into four categories, art, culture, heritage; food and beverage; shopping; and tourism.
The sessions were facilitated by Sharon Liggett, operations coordinator for U.G.A. Archway Partnership. Liggett says future idea/focus group sessions will be scheduled soon since Cairo city leaders are working to determine the best use of the facility, which will be vacated sometime this spring when the police department is moved to its new location two blocks north.