Contractor bids for Terre Haute Convention Center project to be sought beginning May 20

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terre haute convention center
Rendering of the proposed new Terre Haute convention center (CSO Architects)

Construction of the new downtown Terre Haute Convention Center is scheduled to start July 19, pending a sale of bonds and property acquisition.

Steve Bauer, vice-president of construction services at Nations Group, told the Vigo County Capital Improvement Board that construction bids will be opened on June 11.

“It will take a couple of weeks to vet the bids and make sure they are compliant,” the Kokomo Tribune reported Bauer telling the board.

Publication for bids is to be made May 20 in the Tribune-Star; with second publication on May 27.

Bauer said design documents for the convention center are expected to be available to prospective construction bidders in late May. A construction pre-bid meeting will take place on May 30.

The timeline was finalized after a unanimous vote on May 14 night from the Vigo County Council to approve $22 million in bonds to fund the center, along with $5 million in cash from the county’s Economic Income Tax.

Other funds are coming from the city of Terre Haute, the Terre Haute Redevelopment Commission and the Terre Haute Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Bauer told the board a design change could save more than $100,000.

Patriot Engineering re-evaluated a seismic rating, he said.

“With soils analysis, they do a seismic analysis as well, and the engineers had designated (the construction site) as a Seismic Zone D. When they investigated the Courtyard Hotel property they found some unusual or different results, so they looked again at the convention center property and designated that as Seismic Zone C,” Bauer told the newspaper. “That means we can take a different approach on the structure,” Bauer said.

Bauer said there will be a cost for a building redesign, but there should still be significant savings and “we will not lose any time.”

The newspaper reported that Steve Witt, a member of the CIB and executive director of the Terre Haute Department of Redevelopment, told the board the Terre Haute Redevelopment Commission will provide $3 million in tax increment financing funds, of which $1 million will go for property acquisition.

“One detail we neglected to do…we realized the amending documents should have included the specific parcel numbers of the property to be acquired, so we basically have to go through the process again,” Witt said, noting that this should be completed by June 19.

The parcels to be acquired include two lots from Terre Haute Reality Corp., currently used for a Clabber Girl parking lot on the southwest corner of Ninth Street; two lots from Dora Hotel Co.; and five lots just east of the Hilton Garden Inn, with a lot that goes into Eighth Street, Witt said. Terre Haute businessman Gregory Gibson is donating two lots for the project.

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