Larry Bird Museum work on target | News


A revised preliminary design plan for the Larry Bird Museum was approved Wednesday by the Vigo County Capital Improvement Board on Wednesday.

The revised concept from Ohio-based museum planning firm Hilferty & Associates also has an expanded breakdown of projects for the museum at the Terre Haute Convention Center.

The museum exhibits, projected to cost $897,709, will include exhibits from Bird’s childhood and high school at French Lick, his collegiate career at Indiana State University and his NBA career with the Boston Celtics. The NBA years will include his time as a three-point king and membership on the Dream Team, the 1992 Olympic squad.

Exhibits also will feature a Bird signature visitor experience; a Kodak Bird’s Play showing his mastery of basketball; his post-playing career as coach of the Indiana Pacers and serving as president of operations; and the departure of his jersey No. 33 and his induction into the NBA Hall of Fame in 1998.

More than 70% of the 2,720 square-foot space for the museum has high ceilings allowing for vertical exhibition.

The build-out of the museum continues, with that work slated for completion in October. Opening is likely in 2023.

“It will be done between Halloween and the Covered Bridge festival this year,” Brian Kooistra, executive vice president of Garmong Construction Services, told the board.

“We started working shortly after the Fourth of July. The walls are framed, electrical rough-ins are completed, and today people will move some duct work in advance of drywall work, which begins Thursday,” Kooistra told the board.

“There is probably a week’s work of drywall installation and, by the second or third week of August, we should be putting paint on the walls,” Kooistra said.

Completion of the work depends on material deliveries, Kooistra said. Electrical panels are slated to arrive by September. A bus duct, which delivers power to ceiling lighting, is to be delivered by late September.

“That should afford us time to finish mid to late October, so everything is on track in terms of construction,” Kooistra said.

Terri Conley, chair of the CIB’s museum committee, said Garmong was able to “find some alternatives for a lighting and dimming system which saved $15,000 to $16,000 on that, so we are very appreciative of Garmong’s partnership in this,” Conley said.

Conley said of the project’s $1.5 million budget has costs that can be moved around to match needs of the project, including a $90,000 contingency. For example, $75,000 was designed for media rights acquisition.

“At this preliminary point, we had less design cost and have more exhibit costs. We will have a better grasp on the budget in the next month or two,” Conley said after the meeting. For example, the amount set for media rights acquisition could change, she said.

“The final design will have specifications as far as display cases and what fabricators will need to actually design and build items that will be in the museum,” Conley said. Requests for proposals for that work are to be issued.

Convention Center updates

In other matters, Tennille Wanner, general manager for the Terre Haute Convention Center, said the center hosted 14 events over 19 days in June, generating $54,000 in gross revenue and $1,821 in parking revenue, with attendance for the month at 1,329.

The center has $764,437 definite business events in scheduled events booked in 2022, 2023 and 2024. For this year, that includes 25 events with 225 hotel stays, plus 7 events with 456 hotel stays where contracts have been sent but not yet finalized. Another 14 events have been proposed, with 115 hotel room nights, Wanner said.

Vigo County Auditor Jim Bramble, who serves as secretary of the CIB, reported that the county had $312,711 in collections in July from the county’s food and beverage tax, adding the average tax collection has been $240,000.

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

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