The village reached an agreement last week to acquire the remaining 11 square feet of the Interurban building from Pebco Partners LLC.

The village reached an agreement last week to acquire the remaining 11 square feet of the Interurban building from Pebco Partners LLC.

The space is part of an addition occupied by iBeam Solutions that was built onto the original Interurban building. Under terms of the agreement, that addition will be blocked off and the village will pay $12,000 to relocate a furnace and break room now used by iBeam.

The deal means a long-awaited restoration of the Interurban building -- estimated to cost $100,000 --can begin. Without complete ownership of the building, village officials could not start work to restore the building near the intersection of High and Waterloo streets in downtown Canal Winchester.

Plans to restore the roof have already been approved by the village's Landmarks Committee, Councilman Bruce Jarvis said.

The existing slate roof will be replaced with a tile roof. Structural repairs will be made to the masonry following roof work. Then, Jarvis said, officials want to have landscape architecture work done according to conceptual drawings by urban forester Dick Miller dated March 13, 2008. Those plans include installing a new window, erecting a sign that says, "Canal Winchester Interurban Station" and adding decorative pavers and various plants.

"If everything goes according to plan, perhaps the whole project will be complete by the end of October," Jarvis said.

After that, Jarvis said, he envisions the 1905 building becoming office space for six to eight members of Canal Winchester's municipal staff. Other areas could be used as public conference space for about 20-25 people.

Cost estimates for the restoration project come to about $100,000, said Bill Sims, Canal Winchester's construction services administrator.

Some of the funding for the project has come from donations from village residents and from a fund drive last August. Altogether, village donations come to about $19,000, he said.

Madison Township has pledged about $1,000 toward the project and the Canal Winchester spent $14,000 in unused funds for the project in 2007.

The village has also applied for a $25,000 Heritage Ohio Grant.

"It'll be used primarily for exterior structural improvements for the building," Sims said.

Jarvis said officials expect to learn around May 7 if it is approved. If it is, the village will seek bids for the work. Jarvis said it's possible construction could start in July.

Last year, volunteers were able to remove exterior stucco and interior sheetrock from the Interurban. Jarvis said he would like more volunteer involvement in the project, but the grant places restrictions on construction. For one thing, it would require the village to contract with a construction company and that would likely eliminate the use of volunteer labor.

"You're not supposed to look a gift horse in the mouth, but I'm starting to," Jarvis said.

When complete, he said he hopes the public conference space will better serve the community and the value of nearby property.

"It's about quality of life, but it ultimately, comes down to the economic benefit for the village," he said.

ebrooks@thisweeknews.com