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Vigo County Making Progress Toward New Convention Center

Members of the Terre Haute City Council have asked that the CIB bring on more city officials to discuss developments with the convention center. (WFIU/WTIU News)

Vigo County is making progress toward a new convention center in Terre Haute. Officials say they found a contractor for the $25 million project and hope to begin work in January 2019.

County commissioner Jon Marvel says the Capital Improvement Board selected a local construction manager for the project. He says they’re currently negotiating a contract.

“And we’re moving ahead very quickly with this project to keep it on track,” Marvel says.

Marvel also says they’re considering a location. Eighth and Ninth streets, and Wabash and Cherry streets border the proposed site. That puts it across the street from the Hulman Center.

Marvel says the project is already bringing opportunities for other economic development in the area.

“A business that’s been proposed already to sit on the west side of the convention center, which would be a new hotel,” Marvel says.

The CIB has also hired an outside company to do a traffic study around that area to see how it might handle a convention center. Marvel says that study is in progress, and the results should be released soon.

The convention center is a shared project between the county, city and Convention and Visitors Bureau. It will be funded in part by a controversial food and beverage tax approved by state lawmakers and the county council earlier this year. That tax took effect Sept. 1.

Members of the Terre Haute City Council have asked that the CIB bring on more city officials to discuss developments with the convention center.

Currently, the Capital Improvement Board includes Mayor Duke Bennett, THCVB President Greg Gibson, Terre Haute Economic Development Corp. President Steve Witt, and county commissioners Judith Anderson and Jon Marvel. It was initially created when Indiana State University was still involved in the project. ISU later left to pursue the expansion of the Hulman Center independently.

The county commissioners passed an ordinance last week restructuring the CIB. When the ordinance goes into effect, the seven-member CIB will include four members appointed by the commissioners, with one of those four nominated by the visitor’s bureau. Mayor Bennett will appoint the remaining three positions.

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