Calera celebrates openings: New library, railroad museum expansion cut ribbons

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Calera residents celebrated the grand openings on Sunday of two projects that have been in the works for years.

The new Calera Public Library officially opened to a crowd of more than 60 who turned out to see the ribbon cutting.

&8220;This is something we can be proud of,&8221; said Calera Mayor George Roy. &8220;This is one of the greatest days we&8217;ve had in a while.&8221;

&8220;I&8217;m so excited. This is truly a dream come true,&8221; said Library Director Janet Greathouse. &8220;We&8217;ve been working on this for a long, long time.&8221;

Work started on the library in early 2003; however, Library Board Director Dee Gee Schroder said the building was something Calera wanted long before.

&8220;This is a day of pride and vision for us. This has been a dream for many years,&8221; she said.

Though the doors &8220;officially&8221; opened Sunday, the library has been serving patrons since Oct. 20.

With the new library now operational, Roy labeled Oliver Park &8220;one of the better parks in Shelby County.&8221; Oliver Park also houses the city&8217;s Sports Complex.

The library hours are Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 8 a.m. &045; 7 p.m., Wednesday and Friday from 8 a.m. &045; 6 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. &045; 2 p.m.

Track extension

The Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum officially opened its 1.5-mile track extension, although the first passenger train ran on the new line in early September.

Museum officials say riders will enjoy the newly lengthened 10-mile trip to Spring Junction for a couple of reasons. First, the longer track includes more scenery, including a pond and rock cutout.

Second, the new track has what is called a &8220;runaround&8221; at its end, which means the locomotive can turnaround and be at the front of the train both going out of and coming into Calera.

During last Sunday&8217;s &8220;Celebration Day,&8221; the museum opened its new W.A. Boone Railroad Museum.

Housed in the restored L&N Woodlawn Depot from Birmingham, the library will house a collection of historical documents and railroad books. The museum also dedicated a memorial to the late Carl Prichard, former mayor of Calera.