By Alicia Lacy

The Cove Herald

The cornerstone was checked to ensure it was square.

The plumb and level were placed to ensure the building's foundation was strong.

Corn, oil and wine were laid upon the stone symbolizing prosperity, health and peace.

Finally, the stone was tapped into place.

Masons have been leveling cornerstones on churches, public facilities and lodges for centuries, and the Copperas Cove police facility was no exception.

Last Thursday members from the Mount Hiram Masonic Lodge in Copperas Cove and the Masonic Grand Lodge of Texas, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, performed the symbolic tradition to honor the

building months before the facility will be ready for the department to move in.

The ceremony symbolically marked the building as a lasting structure.

The two-level, 33,000-square-foot facility is set for completion by the year's end.

Copperas Cove Police Chief Tim Molnes said he spoke with Bill Price during the design phase of the police department about the ceremony.

Price said the ceremony has been in the works for the past eight or nine months with approval from the Grand Lodge of Texas and local lodges. The cornerstone was donated by Crawford and Bowers in Killeen.

Archie Scott, grand treasurer of the Grand Lodge of Texas officiated the ceremony.

Toby Fry, superintendent of the work site, said construction on the facility has been on schedule.

"I'm right there," he said.

Fry said Dec. 4 is the scheduled date of substantial completion, but the facility will more than likely be complete prior to that date.

Construction of the facility began shortly after the ribbon cutting last December.

City Manager Andrea Gardner said once the department moves into the new facility, the old police department building will be used to store city records.

The city now uses off-site storage for records. Gardner said utilizing the building to house those would save the city storage costs.

However, the city will continue to explore other options for the old police department building as well.

Contact Alicia Lacy at alacy@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7476.

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