Copper Thieves Complicate Renovation Of General Tire Building

By: By: Allison Ignacio Email
By: By: Allison Ignacio Email
Copper thieves struck twice over the weekend at Waco’s General Tire building, which is being renovated to house what planners hope will eventually be a 300,000-square-foot research center.

Work is underway on the first phase of work on the old General Tire building in Waco. (File photo)

WACO (October 19, 2010)—Thieves struck twice over the weekend at the site of Waco’s General Tire building, which is undergoing renovations as the first phase of a project aimed at turning the old tire factory into a state of the art research center.

Police said Tuesday they’re investigating two incidents in which someone stole copper wiring and aluminum from the site.

Work at the site started last month.

The first stage of work includes demolition of existing walls and the steel structure that remain in the old plant and restoration of the building’s brick veneer.

The roof and windows will be replaced.

Stairways and elevators will be installed.

A second phase, which will require additional funding, will complete space for research, workforce training and anchor space for industries.

Texas State Technical College Baylor University head up a $30 million cooperative effort announced in October 2009 to convert the old General Tire plant in Waco into a 300,000-square-foot technology research center in an effort that could pump billions into the local economy while creating tens of thousands of jobs.

Sen. Kip Averitt, R-Waco, and Rep. Jim Dunnam, D-Waco, passed legislation earlier this year appropriating $10 million for TSTC to use for the collaborative project and, Baylor Regents voted to commit $10 million more.

General Tire operated the plant from the 1940s until 1986.

At one time, the company was Waco’s highest-paying employer.

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