The project began in February 2017. That's when a committee headed by Keith Gaskill, 2016 chairman of the Chamber's Board of Directors, began the process of renovating the second floor of the Chamber building at the corner of East Main & and the Courtsquare.
On Wednesday (May 29th) the Lincolnton-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce marked the completion of the renovation project with a ceremony dedicating the building to the Timken Foundation. Timken surprised the Chamber Board on October 10, 2017, when they announced that the Timken Foundation had approved a grant of $150,000 for the project.
The grant was actually more money than asked for by the Chamber, "but it was what was needed to complete the project" Chamber president Doug Croft said at Wednesday's event. Croft also recognized others who had made contributions--monetary and professional services--to the project including Hecht Realty & the late Bob Hecht; Knox, Brotherton, Knox & Godfrey; Budget Blinds; Carolina Furniture Mart; Donna J. Scates, CPA; Gilleland Realty; Helms Security; Ingles; Patriot Contracting; and the Downtown Development Association.
The second floor is being used as offices, providing income to the Chamber and a prestigious downtown location for the United Way of Lincoln County, the Coalition Against Child Abuse, attorney Becky Brown of Horn, Pack, Brown & Dow, PA, and Jeff Pariano of Phenix Group, Inc.
While the second floor is lovely, it is not considered 'handicapped accessible.' To have installed an elevator would have required as much or more additional funds than what was spent on the renovation. Since the building was being renovated, not remodeled, it did not have to meet ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) requirements.
Mayor Ed Hatley said he is especially pleased that the Chamber is doing what the City Council has hoped to encourage--making full use of all floors of downtown buildings.