Blog Archives

Project Spotlight: Historic Salina Depot Restored

restored depot

NCRPC administered a CDBG Commercial Rehabilitation project that helped restore a former depot located at 356 N. Santa Fe in Salina.

A historic Missouri Pacific Depot in downtown Salina has been restored. The unique limestone building, which had been vacant for several years, now functions as professional office space.

The former depot was originally constructed in 1887 and had not had a significant upgrade in over 50 years. Salina Office Station, LLC purchased the building in 2017 with the intent of updating it for office space.

The restoration was the result of many partners working together. The City of Salina received a $250,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) from the Kansas Department of Commerce for the Downtown Commercial Rehabilitation Project. The building’s owners, Salina Office Station, LLC, provided more than $110,000 in matching funds to make needed repairs to the building. NCRPC staff provided project planning assistance and administration.

“This project was able to bring an empty historic building in the downtown area back to life,” NCRPC Community Development Specialist Nichole McDaniel said. “It is an example of a successful project with multiple partners.”

The purpose of the CDBG Commercial Rehabilitation Program is to help cities improve the quality of their downtown commercial districts by assisting private property owners in the rehabilitation of blighted buildings.

“As owners of the former Salina MOPAC freight depot, we were fortunate to qualify for participation in the CDBG Commercial Rehabilitation program as administered by the NCRPC,” Ken Bieberly, one of three owners of Salina Office Station, LLC, said. “The grant provided funds for the remodeling that made the project economically feasible and historically correct.”

The project included upgrading and preserving the historic exterior and meeting ADA interior compliance requirements. The newly renovated former depot, now named Salina Office Station, includes four professional office rental spaces.

Other key partners involved with the project include general contractor Ry-Co Inc. and project architect Warren Ediger.

There is an open window for communities to submit applications for the CDBG Downtown Commercial Rehabilitation program each year. For more information, visit or contact the NCRPC office to visit with a staff member about your project needs.

There are many great things happening in North Central Kansas. The Project Spotlight series features projects around the region to share ways communities have solved challenges. To view more Project Spotlights, visit

This article appeared in the January 2020 NCRPC Newsletter.

Certified Asbestos Inspections Available

Certified Asbestos Inspections AvailableThe NCRPC offers Certified Asbestos Inspections to governmental entities and private property owners.

“Cities need to know that by rule they should have commercial buildings inspected prior to demolition,” Carol Torkelson, NCRPC Housing Director, says. “We have an inspector on staff who is accredited to do asbestos inspections.”

In Kansas, the asbestos program is operated by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) Bureau of Air. Regulations are in place in Kansas to help protect the public and workers from exposure to asbestos fibers during removal, renovation and demolition of commercial and public buildings. In certain circumstances, residential properties fall under these regulations as well. If in question, contact KDHE or the NCRPC for guidance on how to proceed. As a result, prior to demolition, all commercial, industrial and some residential buildings must be inspected by a qualified asbestos inspector.

The cost of asbestos inspections vary based on the structure and how many samples must be taken.

“Each unit is unique and has different sampling requirements,” Torkelson says. “This is a service we are able to offer that is available for a city or property owner’s own protection.”

Many building products contain asbestos because of its strength, durability and resistance to heat. Its uses are widespread and could be present in just about any structure.  For demolition, a notification form must be submitted to KDHE at least 10 business days prior to the start of work — even if asbestos is not found in the inspection.

To learn more about NCRPC’s asbestos inspection services or to request a bid, contact Carol Torkelson at 785-738-2218 or email her at