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Lincolnton science center to be discussed by City Council

Ed Hatley (left) at his first meeting as Lincolnton's mayor.

Ed Hatley (left) at his first meeting as Lincolnton’s mayor.

PHIL PERRY
Senior Writer

A proposed science center that would be erected in Lincolnton will be on the table for discussion when the city council holds its regular session on Thursday.

A proposal extended by STEM Career Path Project, Inc. focuses on an all-ages offering that would focus on bridging the gap between impoverished students in the county and those with more resources available to them.

Edward McFadden, representing the company, spoke by phone with Mayor Ed Hatley regarding the project.

STEM, an acronym for “science, technology, engineering and math education,” would be a focus of the proposed Lincoln County Science Center (LCSC) and would provide STEM educational activities and exhibits that would be “hands on” in nature and provided at an affordable cost to the community.

The center is focusing on Lincolnton as the prime potential base for the center. McFadden says that the center could be compared locally to Catawba Science Center. Representatives of LEDA have been working with STEM Career Path Project, Inc. to bring the non-profit based science center to Lincolnton soil. McFadden is scheduled to address the council regarding the project, where he will likely field questions from Hatley and council members.
“I’m very excited about the potential,” Hatley said. “(McFadden) hopes to take one of our existing buildings in Lincolnton and renovate it and create a science center. We have spoken on the phone and through email and he hopes to gain a resolution from council supporting him. He needs our support as part of the grant application process. I feel confident that the council will support this.”

In an October regular session, the council voted to approve a contract not to exceed $295,000 for design and cost for First Federal Park. Gary Wirth of Wirth & Associates is scheduled to address council regarding the firm’s cost estimates for various components of the project. Outlined items by Wirth will include site work, landscape, building, playgroup, site furnishings and splash pad expenses.

The city had to spend $30,000 in asbestos abatement procedures prior to the recent demolition of the aging and visibly crippled former Carolina and North Western Railroad Freight Depot.

One thorn in the side of the city is what to do with the caboose that rests on the site. A cost evaluation for restoring the exterior has been reported by one city official to ring in north of $20,000.

More funding may need to be secured to complete the project, which started with a budget of $295,000. Opportunities for grant funding and private contributions could be the most logical and quickly accessible options for the project.

Other agenda items include:

An application from Shasta Steel for rezoning of 0.45 acres of land from residential to office (R-O). The subject property is located at 202 S. Cedar Street.

The council will honor Terry Hill for 39 years of service with the wastewater treatment plant.

Resolutions for the submitting of grants to Timken ($100,000) and the Carolina Panthers ($1,000).

Consideration to fill vacancies on the ABC and Lincolnton Planning Boards and Recreation Commission.

Consideration of amendment to the Industrial Development Incentive Grant Program.

The meeting will take place at 7 p.m. at city hall, located at 114 West Sycamore Street in Lincolnton.

 

 

Image courtesy of Phil Perry

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