'This will be an attraction that people drive by and are excited about...' plans for the downtown Terre Haute convention center move forward

An open house Tuesday night was the place where the public could ask questions and voice their opinion about the new convention center plan.

Posted: Jan 15, 2019 10:46 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) -- It was standing room only at the Capital Improvement Board open house Tuesday night.

That's where final plans for the new convention center were revealed. 

"I'm pretty excited! We had a full house here tonight," Duke Bennett, Mayor of Terre Haute said. "You know some good questions." 

The people at the open house tonight were all very excited about the plans.

"Oh, it will really help Terre Haute and we're looking forward to it," Pat Boatman, Terre Haute resident said. 

It's proposed the convention center will go in downtown Terre Haute between 8th and 9th streets and Cherry street and Wabash Avenue.

It will bring with it, a new parking garage and a new hotel. As well as the Larry Bird Museum.

Steve Bauer, Vice President of construction services said the banquet hall will seat 900 for dinner 1,000 in a theater setting. 

Meaning it could bring a lot of new faces to the area. 

"Oh, the things that we're gonna see and the things it's gonna bring that we've missed out on!" Boatman said. "I'm just looking forward to it." 

The Capital Improvement Board has said the Copper Bar and the Terminal will stay exactly where they are and how they are.

The Mayor said tearing either of those places down was never the plan,

"Thos are great looking buildings. They fit into the downtown very well and so placing this where we are is going to allow us to kind of incorporate those into the project," Mayor Bennett said. "So, you kind of have really a complex there, with entertainment, convention space, eating and drinking establishments. So, it really all fits very very well." 

One thing that was asked Tuesday was the number of jobs the center would bring to Terre Haute.

They said official numbers haven't really been thought about, but that it would bring a handful of full-time jobs and even more part-time job opportunities. 

The plan is to have the convention center built and open by late 2020, early 2021. 

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