Convention Center 'starting to take shape'

Wednesday, Apr 21st 2021

Tennille Wanner- detail

Published on
Howard Greninger | CNHI news Indiana Apr 21, 2021

A new general manager through Spectra Venue Management has been selected for the Terre Haute Convention Center, currently under construction.

Tennille Wanner has 18 years experience in the venue industry, currently serving as director of sales and marketing for Spectra Venue Management at the Saint Charles (Missouri) Convention Center, a position she had held since April 2018. Prior to that, Wanner was director of sales and marketing for Spectra at the Utah Valley Convention Center, located in Provo, Utah, for nearly seven years, and opened that convention center in May 2012.

In Utah, Wanner helped develop policies and procedures for the then-new convention center and developed training programs for new employees.

She also worked for nearly four years at the Duke Energy Convention Center in Cincinnati, Ohio as sales manager for Spectra, and worked nearly four years at other firms in the industry.

Wanner is a 2000 graduate of Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. The Vigo County Capital Improvement Board on Wednesday unanimously approved Wanner as the general manager, who will work as an employee of Spectra.

Dave Anderson, regional vice president of Spectra and general manager at the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach, Fla., said Wanner will be on site in May and expects to move to Terre Haute in June.

”One of the things we want to start doing is hard hat tours and get in and around the building with local, state and national [event] planners,” Anderson told the CIB.

In a construction update on the convention center, Brian Kooistra, chief operations officer for Garmong Construction Services, said a large crane was slated to set the last sections of a new parking garage on Wednesday, with the crane expected to be disassembled this week. Crews will then remove stone, placed across Ninth Street to distribute weight of the crane. Once the stone is removed, Ninth Street is slated to reopen to traffic early next week.

“For the parking garage, the next two to three months will be focused on pouring concrete floor slabs on all four levels of the garage,” Kooistra told the CIB.

“The convention center is really starting to take shape ... the exterior framing and sheathing is 75% complete,” Kooistra told the board. “The concrete had been poured in the stairs making those accessible and all the interior masonry walls are complete while exterior masonry [veneer] is underway.”

Mechanical, electrical and plumbing overhead installations are about halfway completed and interior walls about 75% complete, while the convention center roofing should be completed this week, Kooistra said. Work on an exterior insulation finish system has started and installation of four skylights is underway, he said.

An exterior connector to the adjacent Hilton Garden Inn will begin in the middle of the summer, Kooistra said, with construction to take about three months to complete.

Kooistra said the project has $26,392 in changes including some reductions, but the project remains on schedule for a substantial completion date of April 27, 2022.

Terry Conley, a member of the CIB, questioned Koositra if any material delays had impacted the project. Koositra said because the project was bid in 2019 and many supplies, such as heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, were acquired early, that removed most delays. One delay did require a change in insulation, from a mineral like material to a fiberglass material, Kooistra said.

Steve Bauer, vice president of construction services at Nations Group, said the CIB is fortunate that the project was bid in 2019, as projects in Arizona are seeing costs that are about 70% higher, he told the board. “The fact that you have a guaranteed maximum price contract and have a majority of product ordered and in place is truly a good thing for this project. We will come in on budget and on time,” he said.

In other business, the CIB:

• Approved a resolution approving a special purchase of operating equipment for the parking garage. Bauer said request for proposals were submitted in February, however no bids or responses were received. Brian Bosma, CIB attorney, said state law then allows the board to permit a special purchase by negotiating directly with a provider of equipment needed.

• Jason Semler of Baker Tilly Municipal Advisors, the CIB’s accounting firm, said more than $13.6 million has been spent on the $34.8 million construction project, with more than $21.2 million remaining to be spent on the project.

• Shelley Keen of Terre Haute updated the board on progress to catalog memorabilia for a Larry Bird Museum that will be contained in the convention center. Keen was hired in February as an independent contractor by the CIB.