On Wednesday at 10 a.m. city leaders will open that time capsule, ahead of a renovation of the building as it becomes the new Temple city hall.
Temple Mayor Rick Ford said he doesn’t know what’s in the capsule, but he’s looking forward to finding out.
“Ruth Holder, the town historian, brought by an itinerary from when the building was originally dedicated in 1953,” said Ford. “One of the items listed was a time capsule. So we will open it and make a ceremony out of it.”
It is hoped that former Sewell employees will turn out for the opening of the time capsule. For years, the plant was one of the primary job sources for the city.
A plan has been in the works for years to partially demolish the building to create a new city hall, and work could begin as early as next week. Ford said permits were needed to remove asbestos before construciton could begin.
“We had to have asbestos removal done before we can tear the building down,” he said. “The company we awarded the contract to had to wait for permits from the EPD. We are partnering with Carroll County to tear the building down.”
While the 1953 time capsule will be opened, the tradition will not die next week. A new time capsule will be put in its place to be opened at an unknown point in the future. Asked if an iPad or another “sign of the times” would be placed in the capsule, Ford said he wasn’t sure just yet.
“We are going to do a new time capsule when we build the new city hall,” said Ford. “I’m not sure if we’ll do anything electronic, but we’ll put some things in there. We haven’t gotten that far with it, but maybe we can include a bank statement from the present day or something of that nature. Maybe a list of city officials and city employees and some pictures, current events in the city of Temple.”
The 27,000-square-foot Sewell was purchased by the city in 2007.
The transition into a new government building will cost an estimated $1.5 million and be paid for with 2008 SPLOST funds. Ultimately, the project will also see the size of the building reduced by about half.
The public is welcome to attend the ceremony as the time capsule is opened. The old Sewell plant is at 261 West Johnson St. in downtown Temple. The City Council meets the first Monday of every month at 6:30 p.m.