The Willard Clock Tower Project took a definite step towards a groundbreaking with the testing of soil in the area where it will stand.
A core sampling machine was in the Doster Plaza on Tuesday. It was being used to dig 50 feet into the ground, according to Mick O’Brien, a member of the clock tower committee.
“They take a sample every so many feet,” he explained. “Then they will send it to the lab, and it will be analyzed.
“The information will be given to the engineers,” O’Brien added. “It will tell them how to build the foundation and how deep it needs to be.”
The foundation, he explained, will be large. He compared it to the size of several cars buried underground.
Cost for the survey and sampling, according to O’Brien, was approximately $3,000.
“It will take a couple of weeks to get the results back,” he pointed out. “This will give everything a chance to settle down.”
The white pavilion inside the plaza will be removed. O’Brien said there were attempts to move it, but the condition is too unstable.
The original clock tower stood on the former Willard City Hall at 2 S. Myrtle Ave. It was taken down a number of years before city hall was demolished. The clock and the tower were stored at a city barn for years until the idea to restore it became a reality.
Donations are still being accepted, he noted. The project needs approximately $25,000.
Donations can be sent to Willard City Hall, specifying their are earmarked for the clock tower project. O’Brien said pavers are still for sale and there are some books left.
“We have enough that they have started building the clock tower in St. Louis,” O’Brien said. “Everything is there.”