TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — First, parking issues slowed down plans of a new Terre Haute Convention Center, and now the COVID-19 pandemic has “slowed it almost to a complete halt,” according to Vigo County Capital Improvement Board president Jon Marvel; however, Marvel expects progress to be made following a Friday CIB meeting.
CIB attorney Brian Bosma will give a much anticipated update on the Vigo County School Corporation building acquisition.
Marvel said parties have tentatively agreed on a $3 million price tag to purchase the downtown Vigo County School Corporation building. If approved, the purchase would allow Hilton Garden Inn to recoup parking spaces lost to construction of the convention center.
The purchase would also prevent the county from having to tear down two historic Terre Haute buildings–the Copper Bar and the Terminal, and would save the county $2-$5 million in construction costs of a previously discussed parking structure.
The CIB will vote on the agreement; however, Marvel said, the school corporation will not move forward with the purchase until a face-to-face meeting can be held.
Even if the sale goes through, Marvel said the school corporation would still be housed in the building for at least another year to allow time for the renovation of a new office location. He noted later on down the line, the CIB could revisit the idea of tearing down the building for more parking.
In the meantime, Hilton Garden Inn would be able to utilize the parking spaces almost immediately.
Depending on how the board votes Friday, Marvel said construction could soon begin on the next phase of the project, which will be a storm drain at 7th and Cherry.
So far, the halted project has only accrued minimal costs, but Marvel said that could change if the it does not move forward soon.
“If we don’t get moving on it, bidders will pull their bids,” he noted. “We’ve got to get it going.”