Groundbreaking for convention center set for Sept. 6

Submitted artist's rendering Groundbreaking for the new convention center between Seventh and Ninth streets in downtown Terre Haute is now set for 11 a.m. Sept. 6, rain or shine. The public is invited and refreshments will be provided.

Groundbreaking for the new convention center between Seventh and Ninth streets in downtown Terre Haute is now set for 11 a.m. Sept. 6, rain or shine.

The public is invited and refreshments will be provided.

"The convention center will bring an increase in tourism and economic vitality for Terre Haute, Vigo County and the region," the Vigo County Capital Improvement Board said Wednesday in a news release Wednesday. "The structure is expected to be complete in Spring of 2021 and will house events and mid-level conventions."

The CIB is now working on finalizing its financing and property acquisitions. It next meets Aug. 21.

Bids were opened in mid-June for construction of the new convention center.

Thirty-eight companies bid on 17 categories of construction work for the project. The low bids tallied more than $29.5 million, while high bids were more than $32 million, according to a Tribune-Star review of the bids. The project was estimated to cost $32.5 million with bond and acquisition costs.

The CIB's project manager, Nations Group, is conducting a review of the bid packages along with construction manager Garmong Construction Services to make sure the bids include all requested work.

The Vigo County Council in May unanimously voted 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.

A 1 percent Vigo County food and beverage tax that went into effect last fall is expected to support the center's operations with $1.2 million to $2.1 million annually.