As construction continues throughout this month, the convention center in downtown Terre Haute is nearing completion.
“This is a definite contractual term that means the facility can be used for its intended purpose. We’re not done, but we’re close,” said Brian Kooistra, executive vice president of Garmong Construction Services, to the members of the county of Vigo. Capital Improvement Board Wednesday.
A Certificate of Occupancy Inspection was completed on March 1 and Garmong received a Certificate of Substantial Completion on March 3 from CSO Architects. “So two stages of the project are complete,” Kooistra said.
Some closure work includes the completion of site concreting work by March 25th.
“This week work on the north side of the facility near Cherry Street will be completed and a few more [concrete] pours along Wabash Avenue and it will wrap all the concrete around the site,” Kooistra said.
The parking garage elevator system inspection is scheduled for next week.
The closing documents, which include all the plans for the installation, were submitted on March 14 to the CSO architects for final review and will be handed over to the CIB.
The CIB took over payment of utilities for the center on March 3. Other inspections concluded include county health department inspections, municipal building inspections, fire protection and roof inspections.
The keys to the convention center will be handed over to the CIB on Friday.
A grand opening is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on April 9. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. with the national anthem performed by local artist Abbi Scott. Wabash Avenue in front of the convention center will be closed for the event and will include areas outside the Terre Haute Children’s Museum, located across from the convention center, for activities such as basketball hoops.
Larry Bird Museum
Design drawings for the completion of the interior of the Larry Bird Museum are expected to be delivered to Garmong Construction this week, Kooistra said.
Once these drawings have been obtained, Garmong will then offer the work to subcontractors, possibly before March 25. After approval from these subcontractors, work will begin to complete the interior of the museum in what Kooistra calls a “white box…ready for final museum design.”
Construction work on the white box is expected to take three to four months, he said.
“There really isn’t a lot of work…it’s more the sourcing of materials. There’s a glass vestibule that goes inside the entrance to the museum and that material takes eight to 10 weeks to be received, which will slow down the process somewhat,” Kooistra said.
Temporary screens are placed on the museum windows and will remain until the museum exhibits are in place.
Board member Terri Conley, who is vice president and head of commercial loans at Hometown Savings Bank, formerly Terre Haute Savings Bank, said display items needed to be reduced to about 75 items.
However, this work is not complete, and the CIB still requires a detailed budget from Hilferty & Associates Inc, an Ohio-based museum design firm.
The CIB has budgeted $1.5 million for the museum. However, that includes building the white box and leaves more than $950,000 for the museum’s design, said CIB attorney Brian Bosma. To date, approximately $256,000 of this budget has been spent on construction work.
Global Spectrum, doing business as Spectra Venue Management, which will manage the convention center, has merged with Oak View Group.
The merger was completed in November and the new name for the combined company is OVG360, said Tennille Wanner, convention center general manager for OVG360.
Wanner said some furniture and equipment for the convention center was out of stock, necessitating the rental of certain items such as cocktail tables for the center’s grand opening.
Interviews are continuing for part-time housekeepers, part-time maintenance technicians and a full-time operations manager. OVG360 held a job fair on Wednesday and will be doing so again on Saturday, with the job fair running from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Wanner said there is more than $507,000 in potential contract or proposal business for the center from 2022 to 2024. For this year, 31 proposals have been sent, with contracts sent to 10 events and seven events have signed contracts.
In a side note, Jason Semler, an accountant at BakerTilly, said the food and beverage tax generates more revenue in the first three months of 2022, compared to 2021. From January to March 2021, the tax has generated $582,000. From January to mid-March of this year, the tax generated more than $711,000, an increase of 22%, Semler said.
Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached at 812-231-4204 or [email protected] Follow on Twitter @TribStarHoward.