Conover approves manufacturing center contracts

Conover is inching closer to bringing the Manufacturing Solutions Center to Conover Station.

Conover City Council approved a lease agreement with Catawba Valley Community College (CVCC) on Thursday that will make a new home for the Manufacturing Solutions Center (MSC).

The city also approved a contract with MSC, which is currently located on CVCC’s East Campus.

MSC employs about 36 full- and part-time workers who collaborate with companies around the world to develop and improve their products to go to market.

According to City Manager Donald Duncan, Conover plans to build a 30,000-square-foot building that it will lease to CVCC. The college will provide the space for MSC.

The city is financing the project mostly through about $2.5 million in grants from the U.S. and N.C. departments of commerce. The lowest bid for the building is about $2.7 million, according to the city.

Now, the city must send the approved paperwork to the U.S. Department of Commerce, who must approve the plans before construction can begin, Duncan said.

“They will let us know within two to three weeks,” he said.

If the commerce department approves the paperwork, the city will then sit down with the general contractor, make a plan for construction and set a date for the groundbreaking, Duncan said.