New convention center

Construction of a new downtown Terre Haute Convention Center to date has lower costs than anticipated and remains on schedule for completion in April 2022.

The project has a guaranteed maximum construction price of $34,891,153. The project's budget still has $24,973,074 remaining to be spent, Jason Semler of Baker Tilley, which serves as financial consultant for the project, said Wednesday in a Zoom meeting of the Vigo County Capital Improvement Board.

Semler reported more than $510,000 in budget reductions have been recorded on the project through the end of December. The biggest savings totaled $339,000 for reduced costs in relocating a water line.

Steve Bauer, vice president of construction services for the Nation's Group, said Indiana American Water Company was able to relocate a downtown water main at half of the anticipated $600,000 cost. 

Other savings include more than $84,000 for a reduction in builder risk insurance, which was taken over by Garmong Construction Services, which is building the convention center and a parking garage, as well as a reduction of more than $40,000 in permit fees waived by the city of Terre Haute, Bauer said.

Some other savings include more than $13,000 in design expenses after a second parking garage was eliminated from the CIB's project.

Brian Kooistra, chief operating officer for Garmong Construction Services, said foundation work is 95% complete for a northeast parking garage. 

Delivery of pre-cast concrete for the garage will arrive in February.

"All the work on the garage has been underground to date, but come the first week of February, that structure will start to take shape and take shape in pretty quick order," Kooistra said.

On the convention center, "under slab mechanical, electrical and plumbing work has begun in the convention center, so plumbing and sanitary drain piping are being installed," he said.

Additionally, a small mockup, about 10 feet wide by 10 feet tall, is being constructed on site for an architectural review of the exterior. 

"It is a representation of the finished product ... and is an opportunity for the architect and others to come and look and is kind of the last chance to make any changes to the exterior facade and is a way to establish quality standards for the work going forward," Kooistra told the board.

Completion of structural steel framing, joists and decking for the convention center will take place over the next four to six weeks, while the first slab pour for the convention center is slated for Jan. 29. 

Exterior framing and sheathing of the convention center is slated to start in early February, Kooistra said.

Also, the board for 2021 has new members. They are Chris Switzer, a Vigo County commissioner; Emily Crapo, logistics manager at Morris Trucking; and Gary Morris, retired former president and chief operating officer of Clabber Girl.

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

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