Convention center parking concerns raised at Vigo County capital improvement board meeting

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TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – Concerns about parking for the future Terre Haute Convention Center dominated a discussion at the Vigo County Capital Improvement Board.

Terre Haute City Councilman Todd Nation addressed board members Wednesday morning, speaking against an idea to create a surface parking lot at the Vigo County School Administration building on Wabash Avenue.

The original plan for the convention center involved the construction of two parking garages and Nation argues that the board should stick to that plan.

“We should be trying to figure out how to do this project between 7th and 9th streets from Wabash [Avenue] to Cherry [Street]. Where they’ve always said they want to do it,” Nation said.

However, the capital improvement board says it would be cheaper to create surface parking lots. The cost to construct the parking garages was originally estimated at $4.5 million, but the board says the cost is now at $8 million.

“Because of the small footprint of the proposed site and a number of other factors, the cost per parking space to build that structure is much higher than the cost per space of the larger structure being built in regard to the convention center,” said Steve Witt, of the Terre Haute Department or Redevelopment.

Nation said he has filed an ordinance to be considered by the city council that would prevent surface parking in that area.

Meanwhile, the board received updates from those involved in the convention center project Wednesday.

Steve Bauer with Nations Group, the firm overseeing the development, said multiple operators have shown interest in operating the convention center. Operators must submit their proposals by February 11. Interviews would follow and an operator would be selected by February 26.

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