Convention Center work begins downtown

Getting started: Fencing was set up around a lot north of the Hilton Garden Inn on April 22, 2020. This marked the first day of construction for the Terre Haute Convention Center off of north Seventh Street, and drainage and utility work was to go into gear on April 23.

A committee of the Vigo County Capital Improvement Board is continuing a review of a management agreement for the Terre Haute Convention Center.

The CIB in April made a preliminary selection of Global Spectrum LP, doing business as Spectra Venue, to be the managing agency for the new convention center.

"Their proposed agreement is pretty complicated ... and the 75-page agreement we have taken two turns at, making some revisions that we will be sharing within a week to 10 days with" Nations Group, the project construction manager, said Brian Bosma, the Indianapolis-based attorney advising the board.

The agreement, Bosma said during a virtual meeting conducted on Zoom on Wednesday, also will be reviewed by a CIB committee comprised of board president Jon Marvel, Terre Haute Mayor Duke Bennett, who is vice president of the CIB, and board member David Patterson.

"We do have the opportunity to also request further financial concessions from [Global Spectrum] from their original proposal," Bosma said. "We are analyzing the other offers and putting together a chart for you of what the other [firms that submitted proposals] offered and if you would like to go back to Global Spectrum with any additions to their proposal."

The review committee is to okay an outline of the proposal that will then go before the full board.

"It is one long contract," Bosma said.

The CIB has commenced its "due diligence" work for the purchase of property at 686 Wabash Ave. from the Vigo County School Corp., which last month approved the sale of the property to the CIB for $3 million.

"We have received a preliminary environmental investigation that showed no real concerns," Bosma said.

"We do have a survey crew, if not out there now, about to be out there with access agreements from the school [corporation] and insurance requirements, which have all been met. Title work is underway, so I don't see any reason that we should not have completion of our due diligence within the 60-day period allowed by the agreement," Bosma said.

Bosma said he expects the property closure to go before the board in June.

Steve Bauer, vice president of construction services for Nations Group, told the CIB that "site preparation is underway via a notice to proceed issued to Garmong Construction on April 17, 2020.

"The limited notice to proceed was for a very specific scope of work which we are calling Phase 1 of construction activities for underground storm water chamber work on the Hilton Garden Inn parking lot, located on the southeast corner of 7th and Cherry streets," Bauer said.

"And utility work on the Hilton Garden Inn property which will serve not only the Hilton Garden Inn but the future Marriott Courtyard and the Terre Haute Convention Center as well," Bauer said. "We are on schedule."

Bauer also told the board that "numerous utility relocation contracts that have been issued to Indiana American Water Co., Joink, Windstream, IFN (Intelligent Fiber Network), Vectren and Duke Energy are either on-going or completed. All of the utility relocation work required for the project as a whole should be completed within the month of June and the property will be available for full construction at any time after completion of Phase 1 construction work on the Hilton Garden Inn parking lot, Bauer said.

"Once that parking lot construction is completed and the parking lot is returned to a condition that is acceptable to the Hilton Garden Inn ownership, property transfers are scheduled to occur on the Hilton Garden Inn portion of the convention center, and we can give notice to proceed to Garmong for Phase 2 work, which will be the parking garage and Terre Haute Convention Center," Bauer said. 

In another matter, the board ratified its officers for 2020. Officers for 2020 remain as Marvel for president, Bennett as vice president, Vigo County Commissioner Judith Anderson as board secretary and Steve Witt, president of the Terre Haute Department of Redevelopment and president of the Terre Haute Economic Development Corp., as treasurer.

The CIB is next slated to meet June 17.

Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached 812-231-4204 or Follow on Twitter@TribStarHoward.

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