2005-11-25 / Front Page

Clark To Break Tribute Park Contract

By Brian Magoolaghan
By Brian Magoolaghan

The Chamber of Commerce met this week to discuss a plan of action after Patrick Clark sent notice that he intends to break his contract for the construction of the Tribute Park dome, The Wave has learned.

Clark – who received an extension in September after he signed a contract that included additional payment and a December 1 deadline – now says the completion date in the contract was “rendered moot” because bolts at the top of the dome were not installed by the Chamber, according to his letter which was obtained by The Wave.

“As of today the bolts on the rim are not yet installed… Once the bolts are in place, and the pavilion is thus finished, final fabrication will continue,” Clark wrote.

John Lepore, the president of the Chamber, told The Wave this week that the work is Clark’s responsibility and that the issue of bolts never came up until now. Lepore said that while Clark has been paid tens of thousands of dollars for the dome and other artwork, the Chamber has had paid other contractors to build the dome into what it is now – an unfinished structure that some say resembles a Greek ruin. Lepore called this the latest example of Clark “making excuses.”

The Chamber met Tuesday night to discuss a strategy, but Lepore would not say if a decision was made to give Clark more time or seek legal action.

“Right now Patrick still has time,” Lepore said. Once Clark is past his deadline, however, “We are going to act accordingly,” he said.

In the months leading up to the park’s opening Clark remained vague on his completion of the dome. He told The Wave he could not finish until other parts of the park were installed, discussed fatigue from a car accident and would not set an exact completion date but guessed he would be done by mid-October. When the Chamber announced that opening day would be November 6, Clark said he might not be done in time but said he would probably be done by the end of November.

It is not likely that the dome will be finished soon, even if a resolution is reached with or without legal action. Work on Tribute Park has typically been halted during late fall and winter due to the weather.

The Chamber of Commerce will issue Clark a final payment of about $16,000 once the dome is built, Lepore said. “We want the dome to be up and we want to pay him,” he added.

Calls to Clark’s studio and cell phone went unreturned.

Tribute Park Artist Patrick Clark works on the mariner’s compass last summer. The unfinished dome is shrouded in scaffolding in the background.

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