The process of determining who will manage a new downtown Terre Haute convention center has begun.

Steve Bauer, vice president of construction services for Nations Group, which is serving as project manager, told the Vigo County Capital Improvement Board on Wednesday that four nationally known management groups attended a pre-proposal meeting earlier this month.

The agencies are Spectra, ASM Global, VenuWorks and Oak View Group.

Nations Group is compiling answers to questions from those groups on the CIB’s proposal request, with questions and answers distributed back to all interested parties, Bauer said.

A new schedule will include interviews during the week of Feb. 17 with a selection of a management group on or about Feb. 26, with approval done by the full Capital Improvement Board. A selection committee of the CIB — comprised of Terre Haute Mayor Duke Bennett, Commissioner President Brad Anderson, and David Patterson, executive director of the Terre Haute Convention and Visitors Bureau, will conduct interviews.

Patterson was added to the committee by CIB chairman Jon Marvel, who removed himself from that selection committee.

Additionally, proposals have been solicited for management of the convention center garage. One proposal was requested by the Dora Hospitality Group, which also owns hotels in Terre Haute, for management of a parking garage, Bauer said. The CIB will have the opportunity to award a contract for management of the convention center, as well as management of a convention center parking garage.

The board could select two different firms or one firm to manage both the garage and convention center, Bauer said.

In other business, Bauer said while the convention center project remains on hold, some utility relocation work is being done, such as relocating fiber optic lines.

CIB Attorney Brian Bosma told the board property acquisition has been completed with Hulman & Co., however, negotiations continue on property from Terre Haute Hotel Partners LLC, which owns the Hilton Garden Inn. Terre Haute businessman Greg Gibson is also donating land.

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

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