News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

November 28, 2007

Federal Building courtroom, lobby will be preserved when ISU’s College of Business moves in

TERRE HAUTE — A historic courtroom, first-floor lobby with post office boxes and upper-level hallways of the downtown federal building will be preserved under the National Historic Preservation Act when the building is converted into the new home of Indiana State University’s College of Business.

Documents for transfer of the building to ISU, as well as ensuring historic preservation, are expected to be completed by the end of this year, said Julia Nicolae, project manager for the federal General Services Administration.

The building will be handed over to ISU in July 2009 or earlier, Nicolae said.

Prior to that, the GSA, which already has completed a Phase I restoration/rehabilitation project, will finish a Phase II project, costing about $3.5 million. That project includes construction of a first-floor contract U.S. Postal Service area to be maintained by ISU. It has been awarded to C.H. Garmong, a Terre Haute firm.

Work can start on Phase II once that company has cleared government-required security clearances, said Regina Nally, GSA’s regional historic preservation officer.

Officials with GSA, along with architectural firms for both ISU and the GSA, answered questions Wednesday during a public meeting that outlined historic preservation goals of the reuse plan for the building at 30 N. Seventh St. in downtown Terre Haute. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.

The federal government deemed the courthouse unsuitable after September 2001, when new security guidelines and setback requirements were enacted. The GSA’s lease on the building expires in September 2009.

A new 14,000-square-foot federal building will be constructed downtown at 921 Ohio St. to house the U.S. Southern District and bankruptcy courts and other federal agencies.

ISU in 2009 is expected to begin a Phase III project, which will convert the building into the College of Business. Part of that project will be to reduce the width of Cherry Street, adding green space on the north side of the building to slow traffic.

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