New convention center

An artist's rendering of the downtown Terre Haute Convention Center now under construction. 

Work on the Terre Haute Convention Center and adjacent parking garage is about 50% complete.

So far, more than $12 million has been spent on all hard construction costs, with more than $16.3 million remaining to be spent. Construction remains on track for a substantial completion date of April 27, 2022.

The project has a guaranteed maximum construction price of $34,891,153, which includes more than $4.5 million for design and professional services; more than $1.46 million for furniture and fixtures; and a contingency fund of more than $556,000.

There could be some cost savings on some line items “once we get to a point that there is surety that we will not use all those funds, we will drop that down into contingency and that is probably a six-figure number,” said Steve Bauer.

Bauer, vice president of construction services for Nations Group, on Wednesday also told the Vigo County Capital Improvement Board that parking garage equipment and furniture recommendations will be before the board next month as a review of bids is not yet complete.

Brian Kooistra, chief operating officer at Garmong Construction Services, said the project could be at substantial completion prior to April, 2022, however Kooistra did not want to revise that date until work progresses, especially as some materials could be delayed.

“It is our hope to turn over the project sooner than [April, 2022], but I will hold off on making any promises for a few months as we get through the summer and through some challenges in the construction industry as a whole as far as procuring materials,” Kooistra said.

“We are focused on it and taking a proactive approach. Here I think we have an advantage as the majority of the materials have been secured and if they haven’t, we are well in line to receive them,” Kooistra said. “We are very active calling contractors and suppliers, double checking delivery dates, encouraging them to take delivery of the materials, because we are allowed to bill for stored materials ... and really just rolling up our sleeves and making sure that everything we need is available.

“I would tell you that if not every day, pretty close to that, we get some surprise on something that what was once readily available will take several weeks” for delivery, Kooistra told the board.

Recent progress includes the completion of exterior framing and sheathing, including an air/moisture barrier. Exterior masonry veneer is complete on the north, west and east elevation, leaving work to be done on the south elevation, Kooistra said.

“If you were to go inside of the building, most if not all of the interior walls are now standing,” he said. Interior in-wall blocking, which will support toilet partitions and countertops, is being installed. Seven roof-top air handling units are installed, as are four skylights. A water main tap and piping is complete and electrical gear has been installed, Kooistra said.

On the parking garage, the precast panel installation is complete. “We are in the early stage of beginning to pour the concrete topping slab,” in the parking garage, Kooistra said, adding that work will start May 24. Elevator installation in the parking garage will start June 23, he said.

Continued work on the convention center includes installing exterior insulation and finish system (EIFS) on the west side, likely to continue for the next two weeks before complete, Kooistra said, and installing exterior masonry and limestone veneer work continues.

The main featured stairs for the convention center that will be in the main corridor will arrive Friday, he said. Work on elevator installation will begin June 7 and storefront window frames will begin along Wabash Avenue on June 1, he said.

“It is a big push right now to get the building sealed up, get windows in, get the exterior envelope finalized and that work will take place over the next couple of months. We have a goal that by August to have the building weather tight,” Kooistra said.

Remote participation policy

In other business, the board unanimously passed a resolution for remote meeting participation. Gov. Eric Holcomb renewed a public emergency order through May 31 giving local government agencies the authority to hold public meetings and hearings virtually, where the public could participate via electronic communications.

This year, the Indiana General Assembly passed House Enrolled Act 1437 allowing governmental units authority to adopt a virtual meeting policy, said Ted Nolting of Kroger Gardis & Regas, attorney for the CIB.

The policy allows a board member to participate electronically as long as at least 50% or more of the board members are physically present at a meeting. A board member may not attend more than 50% of a board’s meetings each year by electronic communications.

Also, a board member may participate in no more than two consecutive meetings by electronic means. All votes taken during a meeting with remote participation shall be done by roll call voting, according to the policy.

However, a board member may not participate remotely if the board is taking final action to adopt a budget; make a reduction in personnel; initiate a referendum; establish or increase a fee; establish or increase a penalty; use the board’s eminent domain authority; or establish, raise or renew a tax.

In the event of a disaster emergency declared by the governor or Vigo County Board of Commissioners, the state law allows full remote participation of the board and public, according to the resolution.

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

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