Benalto Booster Club members Dave More, Karen Turner-Padley and Angie Schickerowski, left to right, examine an antique railway lantern in the Benalto train station Friday afternoon. (Photo by Jeff Stokoe/Advocate staff)

Old Benalto train station gets $30,000

Renovations underway this fall

Benalto train station is on track to becoming a community and recreation centre with a museum thanks to a $30,000 donation to help refurbish the historic building.

In July, Red Deer philanthropists Joan and Jack Donald and their family made the donation to Benalto Booster Club for the project.

In 1971, the Donald family bought the abandoned CPR station, moved it to the eastern bank of the Red Deer River near the C&E Trail, and converted it into a summer home.

They sold the building a decade later and new owners Garett and Brenda Cupples relocated it to an area near Burnt Lake Industrial Park on the western edge of Red Deer. In 2013, the Cupples donated the station back to Benalto.

Dave More, with Benalto Booster Club, said rooms upstairs are still painted pink and blue from when they were bedrooms for the Donald children.

“They have a lot of fond memories of the place. They are keen to see it continue in a happy role back in its old community,” More said Friday about the hamlet, west of Sylvan Lake.

A contractor will begin work this fall that includes installing a support beam, interior renovations, adding a deck, and finishing cladding. A stairwell is already built linking the bottom and top floors.

“It’s being completely rebuilt and converted into a very usable community space.

“The basement is pretty much set up, and it’s just a matter of building a big deck around the outside all the way around the building so people can sit out and look at the mountains.”

More said the station has a $130,000 budget to complete renovations that could be possibly be finished by the end of the year.

In addition to the Donald’s $30,000 donation, Red Deer County put $75,000 towards the project earlier this summer, and, in November, the club will know if it’s getting a Community Facility Enhancement Program grant from the province to meet its budget.

Located on the hamlet’s Main Street in the old rail yards over looking the rodeo grounds, the building will still look like a train station, but it will be given a whole new life, he said.

“We saw a wonderful opportunity to create a legacy project for the future. We’re trying to set it up for the next generations to really enjoy it and have a connection to the history at the same time. There’s young families here that will really benefit from it.”

szielinski@reddeeradvocate.com

Just Posted

Red Deer College waiting for feds to finalize marijuana legalization

Like businesses, Alberta and municipal governments, Red Deer College is waiting for… Continue reading

Class size only part of the problem say Central Alberta teachers

Though the Alberta auditor general’s report points out that classroom sizes continue… Continue reading

Lacombe County promoting crime prevention measures

County pushing Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design principles

Red Deer doctor concerned about patient transfers to rural hospitals

Family physician says the move creates less incentive for expansion at Red Deer hospital

Fire permit season begins in March

Earlier springs in last few years prompted Alberta government to move up fire permit season

WATCH: Red Deer’s River Bend upgrades officially open

River Bend Golf and Recreation Area is the latest venue to be… Continue reading

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Stores make push in scan and go tech, hope shoppers adopt it

NEW YORK — Shoppers at self-checkout lanes scanning all their groceries after… Continue reading

‘Stars seemed to have aligned’ for new Halifax CFL bid, commissioner says

HALIFAX — CFL fans in Halifax have been told the league is… Continue reading

The language of ‘Black Panther’? It’s real. Give it a try.

OTTAWA — The military’s top general has promised to get to the… Continue reading

New execution date set for Georgia’s ‘stocking strangler’

ATLANTA — A man known as the “stocking strangler,” who was convicted… Continue reading

Man says he kicked Chevy Chase in self-defence in dispute

SOUTH NYACK, N.Y. — A New York man says he kicked Chevy… Continue reading

Supporters of Tina Fontaine’s family march in Winnipeg to support her family

WINNIPEG — Hundreds marched through the streets of Winnipeg on Friday in… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month