By Mike Boudro, Michigan Railroad History Museum curator
The iconic Durand Union Station is brighter and more energy-efficient today, thanks to a generous grant of more than 120 LED light bulbs from Consumers Energy. The grant, part of an energy efficiency program within Consumers, replaced more than 80 standard light bulbs and more than 40 flood lights positioned throughout the historic railway depot. Tim Colton, board member for Durand Union Station, Inc. and chairman of the building and grounds committee, led the efforts on behalf of the non-profit to work with Consumers.
“We’re extremely pleased to partner with Consumers, and we’re very thankful for them providing the bulbs so we can reduce our energy costs and carbon footprint,” said Colton.
Changing the lights in the museum gallery delighted its curator, Michael Boudro. “The museum has always had somewhat of a dim feel to it, and the new lights instantly brighten the place up. It really helps improve the modern look we’re trying to accomplish with the renovations in the depot,” offered Boudro. “The new bulbs are not just energy-efficient, but cost-efficient, and every little bit helps with such a monumental project as the Depot.”
Everyone at the Depot would like to offer their most sincere gratitude to Consumers Energy for their friendship and assistance in making such an important improvement to the building. Relationships like the one forged by DUSI and Consumers are crucial to the growth of the community, and their importance cannot be overstated.
Additionally, the museum is also looking for two high school students for a paid internship this summer. Funded by the Cook Family Foundation, the internship is open to students from the Durand area in the 2016, 2017, and 2018 graduating classes.
“We were extremely fortunate to have two amazing high school students at the Depot last summer, and very grateful to our partners at the Cook Family Foundation for sponsoring this year’s pair as well,” said Boudro. “The interns will be working on a display about railroad-sponsored baseball teams in Durand, and I think it will be a wonderful opportunity to show off some local history as well as railroad history at the Museum.”
Interested students can find information with their high school counselor, on the web at durandstation.org, or by visiting the depot in person.
The Durand Union Station is a 111-year old historic landmark and the crown jewel of the Durand area. Durand Union Station, Inc. is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit established in 1985 for the purpose of restoring and operating the building. DUSI is also the operator of the Michigan Railroad History Museum housed within the station, officially designated as such by the State of Michigan in 1991. Hours and info can be found at www.durandstation.org or by phone, (989) 288-3561.