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Lancaster firm to build clock tower monument downtown

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By Johnathan Ryan

Perception Builders of Lancaster has been approved to build a clock tower monument that will include components of the old timepiece from Springs Industries' Lancaster Plant.

Council voted unanimously Tuesday to award the contract to Perception, the low bidder for the project, at $278,098.

Although no definitive design work is completed, the tower will likely resemble one of the towers of the old mill, and the face of the original clock will be installed so that it can be seen downtown. The old clock works will likely be on display at the base of the tower, inside a small room, said Chad Catledge, owner of Perception Builders.

This is a special project for Catledge, who's had family work at Springs, he said. But it is particularly important for him as a resident.

"I am connected as a citizen of Lancaster," he said. "It will be a landmark that will represent this city for many years."

Perception will be in charge of the monument's design and construction. It will be firm's first landmark project.

"The challenge will be in the design phase, but that is why it is exciting for us to have this opportunity," Catledge said.

He said he'll seek to create a design committee that will brainstorm ideas, perhaps seeking community input. The committee will use retired engineer Jim Williams' schematic drawings, which aided the city in its request for proposals.

The city anticipates the total cost of the monument to slightly exceed $300,000, with about $25,000 being spent to refinish the old clock's components.

Before establishing a time line for work, council will have to decide on how to fund the project.

Council considered using hospitality tax revenue to pay for most or all of the project, but ended up voting to move forward on the project and seek multiple sources for funding, which the city is now in the process of doing, said City Administrator Helen Sowell.

Contact reporter Johnathan Ryan at jryan@thelancasternews or (803) 416-8416