If you spend any amount of time in downtown Terre Haute, you will have noticed the construction spanning from Wabash Avenue to Cherry Street. If you look closely enough, small changes are visible on the construction site. Take a step back, but do so carefully because, you know traffic, and you can marvel at the significant progress being made on Terre Haute’s new Convention Center.
The Capital Improvement Board broke ground on the Terre Haute Convention Center in the Spring of 2020. We can all agree, 2020 was a difficult year. While COVID-19 tried it’s best to put construction plans on hold, the CIB pressed on. As of today, the budget and construction of the center is right on schedule. Terre Haute will have a shiny new Convention Center on April 27, 2022.
In the world of word association, convention center suggests many different things, concerts, conventions, competitions. CIB officials want Terre Haute residents to experience all those exciting events, and more. The two-story center will house a ballroom, conference rooms on both floors and the much-anticipated Larry Bird Museum.
You may be thinking to yourself, a ballroom? How fancy. And indeed, it will be fancy. The ballroom maybe used for all sorts of formal events. According to blueprints, it will hold 900 people for dinner and 1,000 people in a theater seating format. When the ballroom isn’t being used for black-tie affairs, it will play host to planes, trains and automobiles. But, no planes, maybe trains, this is Terre Haute. Officials hope to bring boat, farm equipment and automobile shows to the center.
A year ago, conferences and meetings were held exclusively on virtual platforms, and some may continue for a while. As our community returns to pre-COVID-19 normalcy, more companies and businesses will embrace the ability to meet in person. For those who need a space to convene, Terre Haute has just the place. The Convention Center will house two ground floor conference spaces and six conference rooms on the second floor. One room CIB officials are particularly excited about is the iconic Board Conference Room overlooking Wabash Avenue.
If you don’t know who Larry Bird is, I’m sorry, but you must live under a rock. Or, perhaps you know of him, but only enough to recognize his statue in front of Hulman Civics Center. Bird is responsible for lighting a fire under basketball fans all over the Wabash Valley. He played for Indiana State University from 1976-1979. Sports fans consider the ’78-’79 team to be the greatest in ISU history, and it was led by none other than Bird. ISU diploma in hand and college career behind him, Bird was the Round 1 Pick 6 in the NBA draft for the Boston Celtics. In his 16-year career, he accrued lots and lots of memorabilia, and some of it will be on display in the Larry Bird Museum at the Convention Center. CIB officials hope to use this museum to honor Bird and Hoosier sports. After all, it’s not every day an ISU alum makes it to the NBA.
Alright, now that we’ve touched on all the major Terre Haute Convention Center points, what are your thoughts? Do you see your small business hosting a retreat in one of the many conference rooms? Does your non-profit need a space to hold a charity ball? Are you ready to travel back in time to 1979 and meet the iconic Sycamore basketball team? Come Spring 2022 all your convention center needs will be met. We’ll see you...in Terre Haute!