A timeline has been set for construction of a new downtown Terre Haute Convention Center, shown here in an artist's rendering. Pending sale of bond and property acquisition, construction could start July 19.  Provided image
A timeline has been set for construction of a new downtown Terre Haute Convention Center, shown here in an artist's rendering. Pending sale of bond and property acquisition, construction could start July 19. Provided image
A timeline has been set for construction of a new downtown Terre Haute Convention Center.

Pending a sale of bonds and property acquisition, construction is scheduled to start July 19, Steve Bauer, vice president of construction services at Nations Group, Wednesday told the Vigo County Capital Improvement Board.

Bids for the construction are to be opened June 11.

"It will take a couple of weeks to vet the bids and make sure they are compliant," Bauer told the board.

The timeline was finalized after a unanimous vote Tuesday 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.

Publication for bids is to be made May 20 in the Tribune-Star; second publication is set for 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 is set for May 30. He also told the board a change in the design could save more than $100,000.

Patriot Engineering re-evaluated a seismic rating, Bauer 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 said after the meeting.

"That means we can take a different approach on the structure," Bauer said. The previous designation would have required deeper footers and bracing of mechanical units for a major earthquake, which are not required in the Zone C category, he 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."

Additionally, utility relocations are designed, with utilities, such as Indiana American Water Co., awaiting final property acquisitions, Bauer said.

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 (TIF) 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 told the board.

Witt said that 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.

The CIB will next meet on June 26.

© 2019 Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc.