With all the snow we have been having, you would think we would not be getting much work done at the station. Well, that assumption would be wrong. A dedicated group of members have been spending almost every Saturday working at the station trying to get everything done in time for our proposed April 29th Grand Reopening.

Some of the work done includes replacing the wood that was used to fill the gap between the steel frame and the bottom of the building. In years past, the many gaps under the building did not matter. Now that we have a basement, closing them and sealing the gaps matters a great deal. We have been running heat tape along all the water lines in the basement so they don’t freeze, spackling and painting the interior walls, insulating the walls and ceiling in the addition, and cleaning and setting up the basement. This is important so that we could move the JKW collection and other items back from Andrea’s house. There are also many small odd jobs I am sure we did but I can not remember specifically.

The people that have put the most work in have been Frank Ball, Matt Phalon, Steve Gerritsen and myself. Many others helped them from time to time but these five have done most of the work – and they can use more help if we are to think we will get the job done in time. Every Saturday we have a work session starting at nine o’clock A.M. and running into the mid to late afternoon. So, if you have all day (or only an hour or so), why not come down and help? If a work session needs to be canceled for any reason it will be posted on the Yahoo group, so be sure to check your e-mail before leaving home. We are also planning some weeknight work sessions, but because they will not always happen on the same night, a posting will be made when the night and time is determined – again watch your e-mail. If you are not a member of our Yahoo Group, please visit our web site (www.vratrips.org) and look for the link on the front page.

As the snow melts (or should I say if it melts), we will start to work on the exterior of the building and on the grounds. We have ordered the fence for the perimeter of the property from Forever Fence in Pequannock, and they said they could install the fence during the winter if the snow was not too bad. Well we can all look out our windows and see that the fence will not likely be installed any time soon. With this delay we are going to have to work even harder to get the grounds ready once the snow goes away. Please watch for updates on workdays, needed help, tools and materials.

We are also planning on putting in a new floor. While hard wood would be great, it is expensive and requires a lot of maintenance. With that in mind, we are leaning towards putting in a laminate floor, which simulates wood, and would be much easier to take care of. The cost is also less, making it a good choice.

All of the above and more will need to be done before the doors open to the public, and it is going to take a lot of time and even more money to make it possible. Please consider making a monetary donation to the project and ask your friends and family to do the same. In addition we have paver bricks on sale that you can customize with your family name, dedicate to a loved one who has passed away or simply put your name on so everyone who visits the station will see that you helped support the restoration. Please look for the order form for the bricks at the end of this issue.

I look forward to seeing all of you at one of the upcoming workdays.

Below is an ‘artist’s rendition’ of what we envision Hawthorne station looking like with the fence, paver walkway and park bench (under station window).

click picture to enlarge

Hawthorne Station Update 2/2011