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Hanna residents hope to restore old roundhouse
Published Friday, November 12, 2010 3:08PM MST
A group of Hanna residents are hoping to restore a 97-year-old CN Rail roundhouse and recapture its former glory.
Built in 1913, the building east of Calgary served as a service shop for CN rail until 1961. It was one of the many railway roundhouses that dotted the landscape across Canada.
But now it sits abandoned, with its rotten floorboards and collapsing walls.
The railway and history buffs in Hanna are hoping to salvage a piece of history by restoring the roundhouse.
"This is a huge gem," said Sandra Beaudoin with the Hanna Roundhouse Restoration Society. "It's one of a kind and it's sitting in our backyard. And if we are not able to do something with it soon, we won't be given another opportunity to be able to restore it."
Beaudoin has entered the roundhouse into the Aviva Community Fund competition in hopes of winning enough money to at least buy the land from its current owner.
Even if that happens, the restoration process would cost millions of dollars.
Many of the residents feel that the provincial and federal governments should fund the work.
"This isn't just a Hanna thing," said Gerald Campion, a Hanna town councillor. "This was the Canadian National railway and I think it's in the best interests of all Canadians to be proud to have something like this."