On Monday, October 24, I went to Conover to check out the Dedication Ceremony of the Conover Station. The following Youtube Audio presentation of the speech of Conover's Mayor Lee Moritz Jr. The people of Conover were beaming from ear-to-ear, as well they should be. They have taken a building that was probably headed towards being demolished and turned it into infrastructure that will represent the forefront of a new Economic Paradigm.
Conover City Manager Donald Duncan gave a presentation to the Future Economy Council of Catawba County in September of 2010 and I wrote about it in the article entitled A Conversation about Conover Station and Economic Development.What we see are a lot of aspects of the paradigm of Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle incorporated into the infrastructure, architecture, and character of this project. What is most impressive is that Donald Duncan has never addressed regulations in a manner of why the City of Conover can't do things. He talks about how they handled Regulations in dealing with the Federal and State Governments and obtained grants to help fund this project. This Can Do, Will Do mindset is refreshing in a World where government authorities are constantly telling us why things can't be done and won't be done.
Conover has done all of this in an economic slowdown. I watched other Media Outlet's, in my opinion, negatively spin this development, because they can't see the future. "It will be a long time until passenger trains ever stop in Conover, 'If Ever.'" Well preparation is necessary and Conover is preparing for the future, which should be lauded and is much more than one can say for most of the communities in our region.
I believe rail is going to happen and I don't think it is as far off as the Blind who mislead the Blind would have you think. It won't be tomorrow, but we are getting closer and there is something in many of us that desire the days of rail and riding the train. But, this isn't just about trains. This is a multi-modal transportation center where buses will stop also. This is in the heart of downtown Conover, so it will help with Economic Commerce. Read the article that is linked above and you won't be blind anymore. You will get the gist of Conover's vision.
I am sorry that I forgot to take a picture of the outside of the building, but the slideshow of the audio shows the beautiful "modern rustic" interior of the building.