EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (WKBN) — Norfolk Southern has just announced that it has purchased property for a permanent field office in East Palestine.

According to a Tuesday press release, Norfolk Southern has purchased property at 248 North Market Street in order to house Norfolk Southern functions in East Palestine for the long term. Among the areas the office will support will include community engagement and operational functions.

Building renovations will begin this fall. Among the work will be updating the exterior with a brick facade to better match the aesthetic of the downtown district of East Palestine.

“We’ve pledged our long-term commitment to East Palestine and this permanent field office is a physical symbol of that pledge,” said Alan Shaw, President and CEO of Norfolk Southern. “For the past six months, we’ve been leasing space at the Centenary United Methodist Church. The church has been a home away from home for hundreds of Norfolk Southern employees and contractors, and the congregation’s warmth and willingness to open their doors to us will never be forgotten.”

Eventually, the Family Assistance Center located at Rebecca Place in East Palestine will relocate to this permanent field office, but for the short term, the Family Assistance Center will remain at its current location.

The new office is located just across the street from the company’s historic train depot, which Norfolk Southern is donating to the East Palestine community after completing exterior renovations. The depot renovations will stabilize and revitalize the structure, leaving the interior a blank slate for the East Palestine community to determine its use.