Prospect Depot Rebirth Nears

Published 3:16 pm Tuesday, February 26, 2013

PRINCE EDWARD – It has taken years, but the clock may finally be counting down for the construction of the Prospect Depot.

“It'll take us about 45 days to bid and once that starts, it'll roll quickly 'cause it's only about a six month construction project from beginning to end,” County Economic Director Sharon Carney commented in a break of the board of supervisors' February 12 meeting.

A Prospect Depot could be a reality by the end of the year, according to Carney.

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The Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission, it was announced, awarded $99,019 in Southside Economic Development funds, which meet the $125,250 Enhancement Grant's 20 percent match. The Prospect Historical Society and the Department of Conservation and Recreation have already provided $60,998 toward the project and, with the Tobacco Commission's award, the total project match was reported at $160,017.

“So we are finalizing our reviews by BCOM (Bureau of Capital Outlay and Management) and VDOT and we have a meeting on Thursday that'll hopefully shake it loose and with that, we'll get permission to go to bid and that takes about 30-45 days,” Carney told the board.

She requested, and the board approved, that the remaining money left in the project-$395,659 in VDOT Enhancement funds and $99,019 in Tobacco Commission funds (a total of $494,678)-be appropriated.

“It's a long time and they'll be some really happy people when it's done,” Carney told the board.

The first enhancement grant, Carney reported, was awarded in 2000-with preparation starting before that.

The fire-damaged Prospect Depot hasn't been much to look at in recent years with its charred timbers and protective orange fencing. While the depot will have a community museum and space available for meetings, the finished building will also house park ranger offices for the Department of Conservation and Recreation. And, while it will look much the same as its predecessor before the devastating fire, it will be much more functional to suit its new purpose. There will be restrooms with running water and may become a primary horse trailhead for the High Bridge Trail.

The original depot is believed to be either the oldest or second oldest station on the line. It's also been highlighted in the past that several Civil War books refer to the station at Prospect as a place that federal groups congregated before marching to Appomattox and appears on maps showing General Ulysses S. Grant's pursuit of Lee.

While General Robert E. Lee did not come through Prospect, General Sheridan did, looking for Lee's supply train.