Bird Museum opening now likely spring of '23

·3 min read

May 26—Final construction build-out for the Larry Bird Museum at the Terre Haute Convention Center gained approval Wednesday from the Vigo County Capital Improvement Board.

The construction cost is $346,152.

Terri Conley, who chairs the CIB's museum committee, told the board the opening of the museum is likely 12 months out, which means the museum could be open in the spring of 2023.

Conley asked the board to review a preliminary design submitted from Ohio-based Hilferty & Associates Inc, a museum design firm, which has an estimate of $897,000. Conley said that cost does not include as much as $120,000 in design work.

The CIB is expected to vote on the museum design next month. If approved, final elevations and designs will be used to issue a request for proposals for display lighting systems, building specific display cases as well as completing flooring work for the museum, which includes a basketball shooting area. A project timeline for completion of the museum would also be established.

On the construction side, main costs include electrical work and museum grade UV film covering for windows.

The window film is $17,282, plus another $2,500 for window film on the museum's electrical room. Electrical costs are more than $146,000, which includes installing a ceiling Unistrut grid system, used to move movable vertical partitions or suspended items on display, plus busways, which are prefabricated electrical systems. Construction work is expected to be completed in October.

Convention center updates

In other business, Brian Kooistra, executive vice president of Garmong Construction Services, outlined minor work items underway to complete the convention center. Among those are installation of four exterior garage light fixtures in a courtyard area at Cherry Street. Those light fixtures were added by the CIB months ago, but just arrived this month.

In finance, of the $34,891,153 project budget, there is $2,580,773 remaining through the end of April. Board member Chris Switzer, who is also a county commissioner, said he expects there will be money remaining after final bills are paid next month. Any excess can be used for museum expenses.

Tennille Wanner, general manager of the convention center, said the center in its first month of operation had 18 events, generating $25,000 in gross revenue. The convention center has 13 confirmed events so far this year, generating 235 hotel room stays, with gross revenue of $95,709. There are an additional 18 contracts out for signing, representing 380 hotel rooms, plus 31 tentative proposals, representing 431 hotel rooms.

In all, including tentative, there is $347,825 in projected gross revenue so far for this year. For 2023 bookings, there is $154,399 in projected gross revenue and more than $10,000 for 2024.

"So for all events, there is $767,842 in the funnel including definite business," Wanner told the board.

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