Big plans for railyard

The recent request for design proposals for an event center/conference center at the Elkins railyard is an exciting step for the town.

My last letters along this line, “Elkins resurgence” (Aug. 24 and Sept. 14, 2019) raised the possibility of erecting a building in the footprint of the old roundhouse–why not build the new event center as a reproduction of the old Elkins roundhouse?

There are only a few remains of roundhouses left in the state, with Martinsburg having the only intact historical one. Theirs is used as — you guessed it — an event center. Search “Martinsburg Roundhouse.”

A rebuilt reproduction could use the existing turntable pit as a grand water feature, with surrounding patios and landscaping. Yes, a roundhouse design would probably be more complicated as far as engineering, but being that this was the literal heart of the railroad, I think it merits at least a chance for the final design.

I implore Elkins to go big on the event/convention center; for most towns this is the grand feature attraction. For a good example of going big, look up the Virginia Beach convention/event center. Wow!

Whatever sum is spent on a great design will pay big dividends down the road!

Andy Stump



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