In a report to the village Landmarks Commission Monday night, Councilman Bruce Jarvis said renovations to the exterior of Canal Winchester's historic Interurban Building should be finished by the end of 2008.

In a report to the village Landmarks Commission Monday night, Councilman Bruce Jarvis said renovations to the exterior of Canal Winchester's historic Interurban Building should be finished by the end of 2008.

By winter, improvements should be completed to the exterior brickwork, doors and windows, as well as to landscaping and to the building's structural integrity, Jarvis said. In addition, water utilities and a new roof will be installed.

"It hasn't progressed as quickly as I had expected, but the finished product will be worth the wait," Jarvis said. "I had hoped by now that we would have some more concrete plans."

Some initial plans for the building suggested completing exterior construction by late summer or early fall.

Originally, Jarvis said he would have liked to see volunteers working on the exterior improvements, but with safety issues involved with roofing and bricklaying, it was later decided to go with professional contracting work.

Bill Sims, Canal Winchester's construction services administrator, said contracting advertisements for phase one of the project will be released by mid-August, and by winter the exterior of the Interurban will be a "complete, sound structure that would be ready to have interior renovation done."

Sims and Jarvis both said phase one of the project will cost about $125,000.

An Interurban fund was established after a fundraising event last August that brought in nearly $25,000 for the project, which was later matched by a grant from Heritage Ohio, Jarvis said after the Landmarks Commission meeting.

Renovating the interior is considered the second phase of the project, which Sims said would be better-suited to volunteer work.

Canal Winchester's 2009 operating budget includes $15,000 for the Interurban project.

"The intent here is to create a gathering area," Jarvis said. "Those kinds of facilities are rare in the village, and we thought it would address a need."

The renovated building will be open to the public and will provide conference room space for anybody's use, he said.

Jarvis added the Interurban will accommodate those strolling around the nearby Stradley Park Place as a dry, paved area to protect people from the weather. He also showed Landmarks Commission members a new conceptual design of the building's proposed finished exterior drawn by Gary Bumpus, a Street Tree Advisory Board member and landscape architect.

The design includes three air vents atop a red French tile roof. Iron spots will be cleaned and the trim around the roof will be painted white.

A patio, or gathering area, will be constructed around the building with a concrete base covered by pavers. Around the pavers will be white concrete obelisk balusters connected by white-painted iron pipe.

A sign will hang on the west side of the building identifying it as the "Canal Winchester Interurban Station." On the south side, a $2,000 bronze sign will commemorate the building's history.

Also on the south side will be two windows, a door and a raised platform in the style of the building's original construction as a train station.

The north side will have a larger door for handicapped access and another door near the east side for added egress options if the need arises.

The north side also will include a faux window and faux door for aesthetic appeal.

"This is very fresh," he said, adding that he received the drawing at 4 p.m. Monday afternoon. "The purpose of me coming tonight was to show you what we got."

"It looks nice," commissioner Beth Deeds said.

Commissioner Patrick Lynch added: "You guys have done a great job with this."

After the meeting, Lynch approached Jarvis to suggest laying rail lines in the concrete of the proposed patio area. Jarvis said he liked the idea, but it would require finding the rail line material and enough space to lay the rail on the patio.

Old Town Committee members have approved the roof of the building already, but have yet to see the newest drawing detailing the exterior brick color, landscaping and surrounding patio.

Jarvis showed the Landmarks Commission old photographs of the building during the early part of the 20th century to give members an idea of where the renovation designs originated.

"Our goal is to capture (the Interurban) in its working period, but still have a clean feeling," he said.