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The City of Zephyrhills closed the depot over the summer due to both staffing issues and a desire to reassess some of the displays and how to best utilize the building and its contents. The plan was to provide better access and public exposure to the building. Keeping the depot open just several hours a week was not a good use of the space and building. With several staffing changes, the closure has extended through fall - longer than we intended. Currently we have moved items out of the "freight room" and historic displays will be housed in the two waiting rooms on the north end of the building. The center area - the former "depot station office" - will house all railroad and train memorabilia including the train setup.The freight room will be open space available for city meetings, club events and meetings, parties, weddings, etc. We have received a lot of calls about using the depot as a rental space and its current set up inhibited that type of public access.We are sorting through display materials, storing some items and moving other items around. The Zephyrhills Historic Assn. took much of the school history, yearbooks, and other items to store temporarily. Since we are building a new city hall, several city departments are currently housed in the Jeffries House on downtown 5th Avenue. Once we relocate to the new city hall, the Jeffries House will display historic materials as well. Some paintings and maps are currently displayed in the in the city hall annex and at the Jeffries House. Some of the artwork is planned for display in the new city hall as well. We are not keeping news articles, many of which are yellowed and torn, and will rely on the recently microfiche files of the Zephyrhills News that the city paid about $10,000 to copy and save. These are available for review and copying at the City Library. Other items are in storage, including glass display cases, file cabinets and furniture.Another positive note for us is that Zephyrhills Historic Assn. members are interested in volunteering at both the Depot and Jeffries House as docents, which will help us keep these facilities open more hours. We plan to meet with members at their meeting in January.Currently, city staff is repairing walls, painting and otherwise touching up the depot. The train volunteers are working with the city to relocate their setup to the lower level. We hope to have the depot open in early 2018 for both freight room rental and to peruse the historic and train displays.We appreciate the patience of the community and will schedule a grand opening event soon.