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Old March 3rd, 2008, 07:36 AM   #261
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Excellent collection of photographs of Terre Haute:

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Old March 23rd, 2008, 05:48 PM   #262
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Update on Two Downtown Projects

City streets, downtown projects moving forward
By Austin Arceo
The Tribune-Star

Work continues on the renovation of the former Tribune-Star building. An extended stay hotel will open in July.

The city's new multi-modal transportation facility (parking, local and interstate bus transit) is expected to open in April.

TERRE HAUTE — Terre Haute residents have more to notice this spring than just the fluttering of birds and blossoming of flowers.

Several significant construction projects continue to gain momentum in their various stages of development. Downtown continues to change with the construction of the transportation facility at Seventh and Cherry streets, as well as the renovation of the Tribune building on Wabash Avenue. The Margaret Avenue corridor project has evolved in a way of its own.

The projects will develop more throughout the upcoming months, each having its own impact upon the city.

Mayor Duke Bennett said that in the south end of the city, a lot of traffic issues exist, and an expanded Margaret Avenue would help move traffic, especially between Third and Seventh streets.

Bennett said the transportation facility will be a good addition to downtown, as it provides parking near several other downtown locations.

He also said that the Candlewood Suites and Terre Haute Children’s Museum projects would help finish the 700 block on Wabash Avenue and “really improve the downtown from a couple perspectives.”

He noted that with the completion of the different projects, downtown will have two hotels, the children’s museum and a parking facility.

The projects “are important to all of us,” Bennett said, “and we look forward to getting them open and in service.”

Weathering the cold on Cherry

Officials and crews are still waiting for the weather to warm before work can be finished on the transportation facility at Seventh and Cherry streets. The work includes caulking and striping the parking spaces, said David Walker, public works administrator for the city’s Department of Redevelopment. Sealing the surface of the concrete floor also requires higher temperatures, said Cliff Lambert, executive director of the department.

Based on the manufacturer’s warranty, which the general contractor follows, the temperature needs to be at least a “consistent” 50 degrees — and not just during the day — before the work could be done, Walker said.

“That is what’s killing us right now,” Walker said. “We just keep waiting for this to warm up and keep going, which we’re getting closer and closer here.”

The facility cannot be open to the public until a “certificate of occupancy” is completed, Lambert said. State inspections at the site also are needed before the facility is opened. The inspections will have to be coordinated with the respective inspectors’ offices, he said.

If the city were to open the facility before the certificate of occupancy was received, the site immediately becomes the liability of the city, Walker said.

Lambert said the total cost of the project is estimated at between $14.25 and $14.5 million. He said that more than $700,000 was spent because of soil-related issues at the site. Oil tanks found at the site needed to be extracted, and soil had to be compacted and old building foundations removed before construction could begin.

Lambert said Wednesday that a potential opening date is somewhere near the end of April.

Transportation Director Brad Miller said in a recent interview that more than 620 parking spaces will be part of the project, with half the spots reserved for Indiana State University.

While the facility will be attended between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., the garage will be accessible 24 hours a day, he said. A device will collect the fees all day. Smoking will not be allowed at the site.

The cost to park will be $1 an hour, with a maximum of $6 per day, Miller said. He said that monthly passes will be available, estimating they would cost about $45 a month.

As downtown continues to develop, he hopes the facility will be used.

“With everything that’s come down, with the two new hotels and the Hulman Center events, we’re hoping that this will be received very well,” Miller said.

Buying time

Assistant city engineer Larry Robbins said that officials still are acquiring land for the Margaret Avenue corridor project’s first phase, which runs from Third to Seventh streets.

The whole project would affect Margaret Avenue from Indiana 46 to Indiana 63 and, in its entirety, is expected to cost at least $70 million.

The project consists of widening the existing roadway from two lanes to five, including a left-turn lane or median. The project also includes 1.7 miles in “new alignment” that will be created from Fruitridge Avenue to a new intersection at Indiana 46, according to a legal notice for a public meeting conducted last year.

Robbins said that, while no land along the route has been bought, almost all appraisals have been done and they “are in one form of review or another.”

City Engineer Chuck Ennis said that, with any luck, a groundbreaking on construction for the phase can begin next year.

“ … And sometimes this land acquisition stuff can go smoothly,” Ennis said. “Sometimes it doesn’t go so smoothly.”

A year had been budgeted for land acquisition, Ennis said. Robbins said that they are about four months into the process.

Among the concerns of residents along the corridor is why the process is taking so long, and being compensated enough for their property.

Robbins said that about 35 parcels will be affected, and that everyone should have their offers within two to three months. He said that on most properties, only part of the parcel is needed.

Robbins said that nobody has received an offer yet.

He said that if people have issue with the offer, there is a condemnation process that reviews appraisals to determine a fair market value for the property.

Ennis said that the land-acquisition process is a “well-worn process,” designed to be as fair as possible. Robbins said he doesn’t want to go through that condemnation situation.

He indicated people won’t have the option not to sell.

The construction boundaries will be from Harding Avenue to Eighth Street, Robbins said.

As for the second phase of the project, which is from Seventh Street to Canal Road, Ennis said that officials are talking to the project consultants and the work has been put on hold.

“We have some financial issues to discuss here and planning for the next phase,” Ennis said.

That phase was scheduled for 2010, assuming the project had the funding, Robbins said.

Engineering officials said that the city received $7 million for the Margaret Avenue project, most of which was going to provide for the first phase. Ennis said there are plans for another monetary request to help fund the second phase.

Suite deal

Candlewood Suites, an extended-stay hotel on Wabash Avenue, is under construction near the new Hilton Garden Inn-Terre Haute House.

Crews have been remodeling the former Tribune building as the major structure for the hotel.

Workers were drywalling on the sixth floor, then moving their way down, said Tim Dora, of Dora Hotel Co. Limited Liability Corp., which will manage the hotel. He said that workers frame the walls, then electrical wiring and plumbing is installed, hen drywalling.

“ … It’s moving along quite well,” Dora said.

The trades workers are following one another, so that while drywalling is being done on the sixth floor, plumbing and electrical work is done on lower levels, he said.

The Tribune building will be renovated to fit 81 guest rooms. Another 16 guest rooms will become available when the new Terre Haute Children’s Museum, next door, is completed. More details on the museum project are expected soon.

A renovated Tribune building is expected to open in July, Dora said last week.

Dora also was involved with the Hilton Garden Inn-Terre Haute House at Seventh Street and Wabash Avenue. The new Hilton and Candlewood Suites will make up a hotel center.

The dual hotels will work together in other ways. Visitors at the Candlewood Suites will have access to the swimming pool at the Hilton Garden Inn, which will provide some food services to the extended-stay hotel.

Trish Williams, general manager of the Hilton Garden Inn-Terre Haute House, said that “business has been steadily on the rise,” and that their expectations have been exceeded regarding customer satisfaction, cleanliness and revenue.

“So business has been doing very well,” she said.

Reservations already are being taken for people to stay in the Candlewood Suites starting Sept. 1, Williams said.

She also said that in the next month, people will be able to make reservations online.

Several people currently staying at the Hilton Garden Inn expressed interest in moving to the Candlewood Suites once it’s open, Williams said. Some businesses also have expressed interest in having people stay in the new hotel.

She said that people already have reserved rooms.

Austin Arceo can be reached at (812) 231-4214 or [email protected].


• Officials are waiting on a weather warmup to put the finishing touches on the new parking facility at Seventh and Cherry streets.

• The Department of Redevelopment hopes the parking garage will be open by the end of April.

• When completed, the facility will contain 620 parking spaces; more than half will be reserved for Indiana State University.

• The new facility will be attended from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m., but the garage will be accessible 24 hours a day. The cost to park will be $1 per hour with a maximum of $6 per day. Monthly passes will cost an estimated $45 per month.

• TOTAL COST FOR THE PROJECT: Between $14.25 and $14.5 million. More than $700,000 was spent on soil-related issues.


• The city is still in the process of acquiring land for the corridor project’s first phase, which runs from Third Street to Seventh Street. Most of the appraisals on the project have been completed and, according to assistant city engineer Larry Robbins, the appraisals are “in one form of review or another.”

• The project affects the avenue from Indiana 46 to Indiana 63.

• When completed, the avenue will be wider, going from two lanes to five, including a left-turn lane or median. The project also includes a “new alignment” that will be created from Fruitridge Avenue to a new intersection at Indiana 46.

• TOTAL COST FOR THE PROJECT: New Margaret Avenue will cost at least $70 million.


• Work is continuing on the former Tribune building as the extended-stay hotel nears completion. The building will be renovated to fit 81 guest rooms. Another 16 rooms will be available when the Children’s Museum is completed.

• Workers are currently drywalling on the sixth floor and will be working their way down.

• Guests at the Candlewood Suites will have access to the Hilton Garden Inn’s swimming pool.

• People can make reservations to stay in the Candlewood Suites starting Sept. 1 by calling (812) 234-3400. Most of the hotel rooms will be housed in a remodeled Tribune building, and the facility is scheduled to open in July.


• Construction crews are working on sewer replacement and the additions of curbs and gutters and new sidewalks from Osborne to Hulman streets along Fourth Street.

• Two phases of the Brown Boulevard project are currently under way. Crews are working on grading the soil and storm sewers have been installed from around Locust Street to Maple Avenue.

• Work being done in the Edgewood Grove subdivision includes new sewers, along with new pavement, sidewalks, curbs and gutters. Crews currently are doing concrete work.
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Old March 27th, 2008, 04:54 PM   #263
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Shouldn't this read "two FEWER stories?" :)

Children’s Museum’s new design calls for two less stories

The new design for the Terre Haute Children's Museum in downtown Terre Haute at the southwest corner of Wabash Ave. and 8th Street. Next to the building is the Tribune Building currently undergoing remodeling to be a Candlewood Suites hotel.

This is an artist's rendering of the original Children's Museum design provided by Thompson Thrift showing the north face of the renovated Tribune Building (right) as the Candlewood Suites hotel, well as the new six-story tower containing the Terre Haute Children's Museum and more hotel suites. The new building will now be 4 stories.

Total cost of project up to $5.4M from $4.8M
By Howard Greninger
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Foundation work is scheduled to begin in two weeks for the newly redesigned Terre Haute Children’s Museum, to include a “smart classroom 98-seat theater,” at Wabash Avenue and Eighth Street.

Instead of a six-story building matching the exterior design of the next-door Candlewood Suites, now under construction, the revised plan is a four-story building with its own identity of glass, brick, limestone and multi-colored two-story banners, said Bill Hann Jr., vice president and senior estimator for Thompson Thrift Construction Inc., which will build the exterior shell of the museum.

Total project cost for the new museum has risen to $5.4 million from $4.8 million. The museum’s total square footage under the new design increases to 25,600 square feet from about 22,000. The museum will have 12,500 square feet of exhibit space, about six times more than its current location near Wabash Avenue and Sixth Street.

The fourth floor of the museum building will be part of the Candlewood Suites and contain about 9,300 square feet of residential occupancy space. The museum and hotel will not be accessible from the other facility.

The four-story building design represents a savings of about $250,000 for the museum in building expense and about $300,000 for Candlewood Suites, Hann said.

“We took the design out to bid and it was considerably over budget for both the museum and Candlewood. Predominantly, the six stories pushed the project into needing three emergency stairs that went six floors down, along with the enclosure of those staircases, doorways and concrete,” Hann said.

“Also, when you have six floors, you have six floors of exterior wall to build, so after a considerable amount of brainstorming … we looked at can we get the same number of rooms by stacking floors five and six down to one level on the fourth floor?” Hann said.

Candlewood’s architect, Dimensions Inc., made a new floor plan. The hotel lost two rooms, but gained some larger rooms, said John Thompson, co-founder of Thompson Thrift. The hotel will have 16 rooms on the fourth floor.

Another benefit going to a four-story design, Thompson said, is fireproofing the entire steel structure is not required, Thompson said. “We also wanted to have open ceilings and we weren’t allow to do that with a six-story design.”

MMS Architectural Engineering in Terre Haute designed the new exterior and will design the interior of the museum, Hann said.

The foundation work will take about a month to complete, then once structural steel arrives, work will continue, with the building shell completed by the end of September, Thompson said.

The idea is to build the exterior shell before proceeding with interior and exhibit work, to make sure there is money to complete the project, Thompson said.

“We have fallen prey to higher material costs,” Thompson said. “We still have a long way to go. We have raised $3.8 million. We are stepping out here and doing the right thing by moving forward, but our job is not complete. We still have to raise well over a million dollars. Before we will release exhibit construction, we have to raise additional funds.

“If we get the shell constructed and fundraising goes great, it will be a seamless process. But if we get the shell constructed and we are not as successful in fundraising as we hoped, it may stretch out our process a bit. But we are not going to spend dollars we have not got committed to the project. We can’t strap the project and move forward with debt that is not secured by a pledge,” Thompson said.

Under the new design, the first floor will have 3,985 square feet of exhibit space, with three event rooms for birthday parties, labs and other science activities and restrooms. The second floor will have 4,505 square feet of exhibit space, restrooms and an open area looking down on the first floor at the south end of the building. That allows for large vertical exhibits, Hann said.

The third floor will have a 98-seat theater, plus museum offices, conference area and restrooms.

“We are looking at this [theater] being a smart-classroom environment so that there is high technology in here so we can do some interesting things. We have some 3-D theater ideas and video streaming as part of that,” Hann said.

Hann said an additional idea is try to link with the Ruth Lilly Health Education Center in Indianapolis.

“Our school system here in Vigo County, and in surrounding counties, spend a lot of money annually sending kids to Indianapolis to probably one of the world’s greatest children’s museum and the Ruth Lilly learning experience is world-class over there [in Indianapolis],” Hann said.

“I think we are trying to provide something in a regional center that we can get some of those kids, if not all, to come to Terre Haute and use our facility as a way to help teach that message because not every school corporation can afford to send their kids to Indianapolis,” Hann said.

Stephen Schrohe, managing member of Culp Ventures LLC that is marketing the museum, said as a general rule, a criticism of the museum had been the exhibits did not match the curriculum of the kids.

“We have gone to great lengths to befriend the academic community and try to tie things into what the kids have to learn in first, second and third grades and have gotten super cooperation,” Schrohe said.

Hann said museum displays may be changed annually or biannually, depending on cost. “We don’t want to become stale,” he said.

Hann referred to a display of life-sized dinosaurs by the museum in 1998, which attracted 45,000 visitors. “We know that if we can provide a good product, a good exhibit and good learning experience, people will come to see it,” Hann said.

Thompson said the museum plans to have a yet-to-be-determined “signature exhibit,” such as in the Indianapolis Children’s Museum, with its large water clock.

Schrohe said the museum is continuing with its fundraising, with the largest project being the sale of bricks to be used in the museum’s construction. So far, bricks have generated about $100,000, he said.

Hann and Schrohe said they are hopeful for donated materials and workmanship. As an example, a Terre Haute paint company, Hann said, has asked to donate paint for the project and a sign company seeks to donate signage.

Fundraiser bricks and limestone blocks will be placed along the Eighth Street side of the museum, while “kids bricks” will be placed in the alley south, behind the museum, in a drop-off zone for children, Hann said.

The bricks and blocks can be bought at the museum’s Web site, www.terrehautechildrensmuseum.com.

Howard Greninger can be reached at (812) 231-4204 or [email protected].
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Old April 9th, 2008, 08:56 PM   #264
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Updates on a Storefront Remodeling in Downtown Terre Haute:


Some photos, courtesy of the above site:

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Old April 16th, 2008, 03:02 PM   #265
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Work begins to install Arts Corridor’s newest sculpture
Special to the Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Site preparation is under way at Seventh and Poplar streets for installation of the new sculpture, “Gatekeeper.” Art Spaces Inc. and the Vigo County Public Library will dedicate the sculpture next week.

The artist, Sally Rogers, of Penland, N.C., built the sculpture of stainless steel and Dakota mahogany granite. She will be present at the dedication. Standing more than 12 feet tall, “Gatekeeper” will be erected on the grounds of the downtown library as both a visual and symbolic entrance to the Arts Corridor and beyond.

Rogers has exhibited in many gallery and museum exhibitions, both nationally and internationally, including the Mint Museum of Art in Charlotte, N.C., and the Appleton Museum of Arts in Ocala, Fla. She has been represented by The Galerie Internationale Du Verre, in Biot, France, since 1990, and has been affiliated for many years with Imago Galleries, in Palm Desert, Calif., and with Blue Spiral One Gallery, in Asheville, N.C. Her work has been exhibited at S.O.F.A. Chicago and is included in many magazine and book publications. She works full time in her studio in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Mitchell County, N.C.

Art Spaces is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to establish a collection of public outdoor sculpture in Terre Haute and the surrounding region of the Wabash Valley. This is accomplished through collaboration with the city of Terre Haute, area arts organizations, foundations, corporations, businesses and individuals. “Gatekeeper” will be the first sculpture installed by Art Spaces in 2008. “Tree,” a sculpture by Mark Wallis, was installed at the Stadium Memorial Grounds in August 2007. “Composite House for Terre Haute” by Lauren Ewing was installed in Gilbert Park in early November 2007 and “Spirit of Space” by Bob Emser was installed in December 2007 in front of the Swope Art Museum.

“Gatekeeper” has been made possible through a major grant from the Hollie and Anna Oakley Foundation and a gift from the Friends of the Vigo County Public Library.

The sculpture dedication is free and open to the public, at 4:30 p.m. April 24 at the library. Refreshments will be served. For more information on the dedication or this project, call Mary Kramer at the Art Spaces office at (812) 244-4216 or e-mail [email protected].
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Old April 16th, 2008, 03:03 PM   #266
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Wetland habitat coming in ’09

Vigo Park Department to make hiking trails, boat ramp along Wabash River near West Terre Haute
By Howard Greninger
The Tribune-Star

WEST TERRE HAUTE — Conservation work to restore a wetland and wildlife habitat along the Wabash River near West Terre Haute will begin in 2009 as result of joint federal, state and Vigo County funds.

Gov. Mitch Daniels on Tuesday presented $295,000 to the project, with $220,000 coming from the Indiana Heritage Trust program accrued from the sales of the environmental license plate and $75,000 from the Department of Natural Resource’s Division of Fish and Wildlife.

“We have more than doubled the number of acres protected in Indiana, some 25,000 acres in the last three years and we’ve got to do better than that. We’ve got to make certain that some of our most beautiful habitats, like this wetland, are preserved while there is time,” Daniels said.

“I see both ends of the future that we make for this state of ours. A state of prosperity, but also a state of great natural beauty,” the governor said.

The property will be owned by the Vigo County Park Department, which will make hiking trails, observation decks/areas, a boat ramp on the west side and other recreational amenities, said Keith Ruble, department superintendent.

Jane E. Hardisty, state conservationist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Services, said $1.5 million in federal assistance will be used to create the wetland, with just over 691 acres enrolled into the USDA's Wetland Reserve Program.

“It covers the purchase of the easements, all of the restoration, the survey and title,” Hardisty said. “We will do the wetlands restoration engineering work. It will restore it back to its original land use. It may be taking sub-surface tile and crushing it to stop drainage out of the area to hold the water and we might dip out places to make little pools or ponds for different migratory birds or the frogs and toads, and develop it back to a more natural state,” she said before the presentation.

In addition, some earthen walls may be installed to control levels of water, she said.

“This is a good area for migratory birds. There are more than 400 different rare species of birds that can make a habitat here. This will connect other WRP easements along the Wabash River in a six-county area. How great to have one big corridor for when these birds come in, they will have a natural habitat,” Hardisty said.

The six counties are Vigo, Vermillion, Sullivan, Parke, Warren and Fountain, Hardisty said.

“The Nature Conservancy has put in about $300,000 toward technical assistance over this six-county area,” she said. Between the Natural Resources Conservation Services and The Nature Conservancy, “we have become a partner in order for this particular project to exist,” she said.

The three-year project will start in 2009. Improvements to the wetland also will contribute to filtering storm water runoff and serve as a flood-control structure, Hardisty said.

The county will receive the state funds once the property is accepted through the Conservation Services program, Ruble said. The plan is first to obtain 691.32 acres for $400,961. An additional 27.3 acres will be bought for $53,500 that is not part of that reserve program.

John Mutchner of the Wabash River Beautification and Development Commission said the project marks the beginning of work “on both sides of the river.” Mutchner said the eventual goal is to have more than 1,200 acres for the project.

The Vigo County Park Board in December approved the plan to buy land for the Wabash River National Road Wetland Reservation. The County Council approved $150,000 from the County Economic Development Income Tax for the county’s portion.

The Park Department, because of a $30,000 private donation, now owns land that had been the former tavern on the east edge of West Terre Haute and will become an observation point.

Last year, the state reached its goal of doubling the annual investment for multi-use trail funding to $20 million as part of Daniels’ Hoosiers on the Move trails initiative to connect communities throughout the state and put every Hoosier within 15 minutes of a trail.

The DNR recently bought several segments of abandoned rail corridors totaling 150 miles, located in 39 counties throughout the state. The state’s plan is to give the land to local governments and not-for-profit groups for future trail expansions.

Howard Greninger can be reached at (812) 231-4204 or [email protected].
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Old April 18th, 2008, 10:52 PM   #267
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QUAKE TALES: Valley residents describe experiences
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Some Tribune-Star online edition readers describe their experiences during the 5.2-magnitude earthquake at 5:37 a.m. today. Check back for periodic updates.

I was sleeping and was woken up at what looked like 5:37 a.m. on the alarm clock on my bedside table, by the house shaking pretty strongly; (I had been in South Florida for the past 12 years before coming to Indiana and haven’t ever experienced an earthquake before).

Still in the fog of sleep, my half-awake, frightened mind thought erroneously that some huge wild animal must have hold of the side of the house shaking it wildly. A half-sleeping mind isn’t quite rational. When the trembling and subsequent fear stopped, I came to my senses realizing that that must have just been an earthquake.

The computer monitors shook, the windows shook, the phone fell on the floor. I woke my husband sleeping next to me and he told me I must have had a bad dream. When I finally got up for the day, I went to my computer to type in TribStar’s website and there was the article. Some bad dream, I told my hubby, right?

Carol Corsi

Terre Haute

My son got up this morning and asked me if I felt the house shake, and I had to reply, no, because I was asleep. I did, however feel it around a little after 11 this morning. I was at the kitchen table, and it felt as if someone had driven into the side of my house. My neighbor then calls me right after that and asked if I felt it. So, yes, it shook me up a bit.

We live in Clinton, and we felt it this far north. I can only assume how it felt for those living closer to the fault lines.

April Conner


It was about 5:30 a.m. I thought my cats had been climbing, but as I came through they where all with me. Then around 11 a.m. again, I had no idea what it was but didn’t have time to investigate. As I went to the front door, I was ran over by three cats flying like their butts on fire. They pretty much told me it was not a good thing, but I didn’t hear any emergency sounds either time.

It reminded me of the time my grandma was to slow at lighting the gas oven and it took the whole mobile home.

Ursula Howard

Terre Haute

That quake was something else this morning. I was taking a nap, because I was filling in on the morning show on B102.7. When it hit, my CD case just about fell off the top of my stereo by my bed. Luckily I got up in time. We took calls from listeners all morning. Lots of people were reflecting back on the earthquake we had back on June 10, 1987. It makes you wonder if the talk will start again about us being on the fault line, and a major earthquake happening here again.

The aftershock woke me up from my after radio show nap. You begin to wonder how many there will be.

Matt Luecking

Terre Haute

I just wanted to share my story, briefly, as I think it’s a bit humorous.

I slept on the couch last night, and when I awakened to the shaking, which lasted for what seemed to be about 40 seconds, I reasoned that a ghost was causing it. Because of this reasoning, I began questioning and doubting whether I actually felt the shaking. The more I realized the reality of what I felt, the more I believed that ghost must be real, yet this still didn’t seem possible. I actually became frightened by the realization that ghost, in fact, exists, because what else would explain this shaking that I knew I had felt, and I had felt it strongly. I was still confused, as I had just awakened from sleep, but I knew the couch was moving forward and backward.

I thought I might keep this to myself, but I told my roommate about what I felt, and a few minutes later, he came into the room to say there was an earthquake, and that the story about it was on the news. Oddly, he never felt the quake, and he thought I was nuts. I was relieved that I was neither crazy nor possessed by a demon causing the couch to levitate. Then, ironically, when the second after shock happened at 11:15 a.m., my roommate was sitting right next to me. I said, “Did you feel that?” He thought I was imagining this because again, he didn’t feel it. Seconds later, the news broke that an aftershock had just occurred.



So I awoke this morning from a very sound sleep to my whole queen-size bed shaking and the end table shaking. Since I had been asleep, I was very confused — my first thought was, “Am I possessed”? But once I realized that my bed was not rising ala “The Exorcist” and look at the alarm clock and realized it was 5:41a.m. It still took a few moments to realize that it was an earthquake that I had just experienced. How odd, especially for Terre Haute, Indiana!

Merry Miller

Terre Haute

My husband and I certainly felt the earthquake this morning. The windows were rattling and our 8-year-old son came in to tell me that someone was shaking his bed.

I teach in Martinsville, Ill., and all of the students were discussing the earthquake. Being in a building that is desperately in need of being replaced, we were all relieved that it withstood the second quake. While students were sitting in their desks, my computer began to shake and the floor was shaking as well. One student reported that the books in the library were shaking. Of course, it was exciting for them to experience this phenomenon.

Robin Karras

Martinsville, Ill.

My wife is from Southern California and I spent 14 years in Wyoming. We first thought a tractor trailer truck hit our embankment out front. But the rolling we felt for about 10 seconds definitely convinced us that we were experiencing another earthquake. Even our two kids woke up and asked if an earthquake occurred.

I believe this is the fifth one I have personally felt in Indiana since October 1987. The very first one occurred in October 1987 and in the afternoon: I was teaching an advanced chemistry class that required the alignment of a light beam. The beam was wiggling and the floor moved in Crapo Hall on the Rose-Hulman campus. I told several students, mostly pre-meds, that we were experiencing an earthquake and if they were in tune with the earth they would know. (The touchy-feely scale for earthquake intensity is the Mercalli intensity scale.) While laughing, they then asked what Richter magnitude I thought it was. If I remember correctly I stated about a 5, plus or minus 0.4. They laughed even harder and essentially told me I was not feeling well and that we should cancel the laboratory. I told them to dream on. The very next morning, on the overhead projector, was the article from the Tribune Star talking about the earthquake. I had the students attention for several days. And we did not discuss much chemistry, but lots of geosciences. They did not know that I only had a B.S. in geology from the University of Wyoming and that I lived in Southern California as well as Japan and was tuned in to noticing earthquakes.

The real big one is not expected until 2212. (Last one hit in 1812, and there is evidence for a early-1400s quake.)

Howard Lee McLean

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

Terre Haute

We live about about an hour and a half south of Evansville. We had the feeling of a strong storm going over the house, with more vibration than you would normally have with storms. My cats gathered in a group in the basement! No damage, but several aftershocks felt.

Rick Hendrickson

Dawson Springs, Ky.

My dog and cats woke me up before the rumbling started. The last time we had a quake, they did the same thing. Things that go bump in the night tend to be a bit scary!

Holly Neil


I was abruptly awakened a little after 5:30 a.m .this morning by what felt like two grown men jumping up and down on my bed.

After I completely opened my eyes and realized that something just happened I immediately looked outside and was surprised to see that everything was so calm. Then I turned on Channel 10 news and just then a note was passed to David Wire and he confirmed that it definitely was an earthquake.

My 11-year-old daughter slept with me last night and it woke her up and she said, “Mom, what was that?” and went back to sleep for a few minutes. I was more excited than she was this morning. I tried to lay back down but to no avail. I called my parents in West Terre Haute, and they had slept through it. Nothing like a little excitement in the morning!

Jamie Clark

Terre Haute

Well, I can’t say I actually felt the earth move, but…

Our little dog, Lucy, woke us up growling and barking just a split second before we noticed anything. At first my husband and I thought it was the wind shaking the windows, but then we heard stuff in my bathroom rattling around and I couldn’t figure out what was going on. I knew I hadn’t left a window open, but that was sort of how it seemed —– like the wind had blown right through the window into my bathroom. Except there was no wind. It was really strange. My other little dog, Ricky, slept right through it. He’s not a morning person.

Susan Fogel


At first I thought I was dreaming and then I thought, oh it’s a storm, so I looked out my bedroom window and it wasn’t raining or storming, so I finally shook my husband awake and said, “I think we’re having an earthquake.” My cats were running all over the place trying to find someplace to hide. It was pretty frightening.

Susan Fields


My husband Steve Asher and I, Lori Asher, were in bed sleeping in Brazil, near Northview High School on U.S. 40 and did not feel it. Snoozed right through it. Did not know about the earthquake until I got to work at Social Security Administration.

Lori Asher


I knew something happened! I woke up from my sleep during the shaking. In my fogginess, I thought a really strong wind was blowing, so strong that it rattled our apartment building (ISU University Apartments). When I got up, I thought it was a dream because I looked outside and it was perfectly calm, no storm, etc. Plus all of our windows were shut. Then when I went out to the kitchen, I noticed one of our decorations had fallen from a shelf. It was all very mysterious, but when I saw the breaking news headline, I put it all together.

Kiel Majewski

Terre Haute
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Old April 26th, 2008, 03:55 AM   #268
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Published: April 25, 2008 12:17 am
Students attempt CPR for downtown

ISU juniors develop plans to renovate unoccupied buildings
By Arthur E. Foulkes
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Indiana State University design students showed ways to breathe new life into a pair of aging downtown Terre Haute buildings Thursday.

The students, all juniors in the Interior Design Department at ISU, developed plans for renovating the Ford Building at 522 Wabash Ave. and the Swope-Nehf Building at 524 Wabash. Both buildings were built in 1885 and are presently unoccupied.

“It was a big challenge for them,” said Juan Jurado, assistant professor of interior design at ISU.

The buildings are three stories tall and are owned by Joseph Selliken, who attended the presentations Thursday afternoon in the Ohio Building.

“I’ve known there are great possibilities for a long time” for the two buildings, Selliken said. The key to making the buildings viable is adequate downtown parking, he said.

The students were asked to make the first floor of the buildings a commercial space with the upper floors used for apartments.

Ideas for the commercial level included an art supply shop, a wine bar and wine shop, an organic grocery store, a bookstore and juice bar and a locally grown food store.

Working with such old buildings presented several challenges, Jurado said. One significant problem involves bringing the buildings up to contemporary building codes, Selliken said.

“The ultimate goal is to show that these buildings are viable and to bring them back to life,” said Andrew Conner, executive director of Downtown Terre Haute Inc., which organized the project with ISU.

The Ford Building and the Swope-Nehf Building include elaborate brickwork and terra cotta ornamentation, according to Walking Wabash, a publication by Terre Haute Landmarks Inc.

The Ford Building previously housed such businesses as the Sherman Men’s Store, Mae Burmann’s Hosiery shop and Craft’s Book Store.

Businesses in the Swope-Nehf Building included the Swope-Nehf Jewelry Co., Liberty Meats, Bigwood’s Jewelry and the Readmore Bookstore.

“We try to work with the community,” ISU’s Jurado said after the students’ presentations ended. Projects such as these allow ISU students to apply their talents in ways to help the Terre Haute area, he said. “We’re trying to give back to the community in this way.”

Arthur Foulkes can be reached at (812) 231-4232 or [email protected].
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Old April 26th, 2008, 03:56 AM   #269
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UPDATE: Colts Camp to return to Terre Haute this summer
By Tom James
Tribune-Star Correspondent

INDIANAPOLIS — After several months of waiting for an announcement, the Indianapolis Colts have finally made it official. The team's training camp, which has been a staple in Terre Haute since 1999, will return to the Rose-Hulman campus for the 10th straight year.

While there had been strong indications since the end of the 2007 season that the Colts would most likely come back to the east side campus, neither the school or Indianapolis officials would offer any kind of confirmation that a deal had been reached.

That all changed Friday afternoon, however. Team president Bill Polian, during his annual pre-NFL Draft press conference, acknowledged that the Colts' preseason workouts will remain at Rose-Hulman for the foreseeable future.

"We've always said the facility works perfectly. There's absolutely nothing that you can find wrong with the facility or the locale or anything like that. It was just a matter of, A, the school wanting us back and, B, us being able to work out a contract that made sense," he explained.

Although the full details were not released by the Colts, Polian said that the new agreement is more than just a one-year extension of the previous deal.

"It's a multiyear contract that I think has options for both parties," he said. "Forgive me. I'm thinking about 40-times and pass rush more and how quick a guys feet are. I'm not focused on the details of training camp. But it's a multiyear contract. I can tell you that."

Rose-Hulman President Gerald Jakubowski, in a written statement, praised the decision by Indianapolis officials to continue their association with the school.

“The Indianapolis Colts and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology have reached an agreement that will bring the Colts summer training camp to Terre Haute in 2008. We are very pleased to know that the Colts see our world-class facilities as their best choice as a site to prepare their players and team for another run at the Super Bowl Championship," Jakubowski said.

"The Rose-Hulman community looks forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with the best franchise in the world’s premier professional sports league."

See Saturday's Tribune-Star and www.tribstar.com for more information and reaction.
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Old June 25th, 2008, 04:17 PM   #270
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Building projects abound in central, eastern Terre Haute
By Howard Greninger
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Several building projects are under way near downtown Terre Haute, plus a project to build a new building for a long-standing ice cream shop on the city’s east side.

Jay D. Kellett bought Coaches Corner Sporting Goods in July 2004. Now Kellett is in the midst of building a 14,334-square-foot sports complex for training at 750 Oak St., between Seventh and Eighth streets, south of Poplar Street.

The idea is to provide a space, about 10,300 square feet, for indoor baseball, softball and soccer, Kellett said.

“There will be batting cages and that space can be converted to a soccer field. It will be a membership [facility] and structured type of schedule for lessons and clinics,” Kellett said.

“It will have turf or grass-type of an infield. High-school soccer could have a league throughout the winter or recreational soccer could have a league throughout the winter. Our store space will expand into about four times the space we have now and will use the north end” of the new facility, Kellett said.

The existing store space will be used for uniform and team displays and for storage.

Kellett is a 1995 graduate of Indiana State University, with a bachelor’s degree in physical education. He graduated from Terre Haute North Vigo High School.

“I have always been involved in sports all my life, from playing to coaching to officiating. I got a degree in education in physical education and health and always been around it,” Kellett said. “I had over 10 years experience prior to coming here and expanded this from retail to institutional and team sports with leagues, recreation leagues, schools and colleges.”

The south end will contain a two-level area with permanent batting cages. The north side will house retractable batting cages. Kellett said he expects to develop a new Web site with membership and fee information by the time the facility is open in mid-October.

Not far from downtown, Ryan Yagow and co-partner Zach Hanft plan to open a Jimmy John’s Sandwich Shop by October at 1110 Wabash Ave., next door to the current Subway sandwich shop. The 1,720-square-foot building, owned by Burlison Family Group LLC, at the corner of Wabash Avenue and 11th Street, is being remodeled. Yagow and Hanft will rent the building.

“The new location will provide customers with more parking and a convenient drive-through service for their already short and busy lunch breaks,” Yagow said.

Yagow said locating his store near Subway and an Arby’s makes the city intersection a destination site for lunch breaks.

While Terre Haute previously had two Jimmy John’s stores, neither store had a drive-up window. A drive-up window in the Terre haute area can provide as much as 50 percent of business, “especially because we are a little off-campus,” Yagow said.

In addition, the store plans to specialize in late-night delivery service to target students at Indiana State University, plus daytime catering to business. “We think Terre Haute is a three-store city and plan to open a second store 18 months after the first, then a third store 12 months after the second,” Yagow said.

No sites have yet been determined. Both Yagow and Hanft are recent college graduates. Yagow is a graduate of Illinois State University and Hanft a graduate of University of Illinois. It is the first business venture for the two graduates.

On the east side of the Subway restaurant, a new dental office is under construction. The new 3,346-square-foot building at 1140 Wabash Ave. will house Anshutz Dental, for dentist Bruce P. Anshutz.

The site, which had formerly housed Paitson Hardware store and Nancy’s Downtown Mall, has been cleared for the new building.

Anshutz will move out of his current office in Foulkes Square at 401 Ohio St. Anshutz could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

On the city’s east side, Dennis Atterson is constructing a new building for Baskin Robbins ice cream shop on the south side of Fruitridge Avenue at Wabash Avenue. The 5,235-square-foot building also will house a second tenant.

“Baskin Robbins needed more square footage and will have a drive-through, which is a major improvement for them,” Atterson said. “I will know the second tenant of the building by the end of the month.”

The new building will provide the ice cream business with more in-store seating. “The business has been there 21 years, so it is a good location for them,” said Atterson, who owns a strip mall and car wash at Fruitridge and Wabash avenues. Atterson also owns Atterson Tire Co.

The new store will face Wabash Avenue.

A road project slated to go to bid in the fall of 2009 with construction in 2010 will extend Blakely Avenue across Wabash Avenue, then make a sweeping curve behind the strip mall and car wash and behind Logan’s Ribeye restaurant, connecting to Fruitridge Avenue about 50 feet north of Riley Avenue.

The project, estimated at $1.8 million, will eliminate a traffic signal at Fruitridge and Wabash avenues, said City Engineer Chuck Ennis.

“It will reduce the distance folks will have to travel and will have an air quality impact. All in all, it will be a good project and will certainly improve that intersection,” Ennis said.

Union Hospital’s Family Medicine East current entrance will become a city street and the facility entrance will be redesigned, Ennis said. A majority of the project will be paid from “Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Control” federal funds, Ennis said.

Ennis said existing homes and businesses near the intersection of Fruitridge and Wabash avenues will have an access, plus new road access cuts will be available to Atterson’s property.

Ennis said traffic projections for 2013 show 21,000 vehicles per day will head north on Blakely Avenue from Wabash Avenue; while 20,000 vehicles per day continue west on Wabash from the intersection of Blakely; and 27,000 vehicles per day head east from that intersection. Fruitridge Avenue at Wabash Avenue handles about 5,000 vehicles per day, Ennis said.

Atterson said the project will provide more access to his property, which could allow better development of his land, which could include removing the existing car wash, he said.

“That corner has been phenomenally busy and that road project makes sense,” Atterson said.

Howard Greninger can be reached at (812) 231-4204 or [email protected].
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Old October 10th, 2008, 09:10 AM   #271
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Candlewood Suites opens in renovated Newspaper HQ in Downtown Terre Haute

Now open: Candlewood Suites is second new hotel downtown in a year
By Howard Greninger
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — The old Tribune Building, former home of the Tribune-Star in downtown Terre Haute, opened Thursday as the new Candlewood Suites.

The hotel, owned and operated by Dora Bros. Hospitality Corp., is a franchise of the InterContinental Hotels Group, the world’s largest hotel group by number of rooms. Dora also owns the nearby Hilton Garden Inn, which has been open for one year.

Workers continued Thursday morning to clean windows, caulk minor exterior spaces and go through a checklist on each room. A stack of four boxes of Gideon Bibles rested near the front door, ready to be placed in each room. That was just one small detail that Trish Williams, regional manager for Dora Bros., worked to get accomplished before 5 p.m.

The hotel officially came online to rent rooms about 3 p.m., taking Internet reservations through InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG). The hotel was inspected for the last time Wednesday by IHG, but had been given a green light Monday to allow guests to stay.

Williams said one guest checked into the building Monday, with 16 on Tuesday and 10 on Wednesday, “and that was without any advertising. We really were not officially open yet.”

Williams said some rooms were taken by guests who had attempted to stay at the Hilton, which has all its rooms booked this week, she said.

“We have reservations for [Thursday] already and this weekend; we are looking good,” she said, estimating about 50-percent occupancy at Candlewood for the weekend.

Williams said the building was about 90 percent ready early Thursday, and she expected it to be 100 percent by the end of the day. Some hotel workers were brought in from a Dora-owned hotel in Plainfield to help expedite last-minute work, she said.

Each room is slightly different in design, with one- and two-bedroom suites available. Guest rooms include a kitchen, with stove, microwave, full-size refrigerator, dishwasher and plates and utensils.

“All of our reservation system had been in a meeting room where front desk personnel had been training,” said Tim Dora, owner of Dora Hotel Co. LLC, a hotel development and management company and co-owner of Dora Bros. Hospitality Corp. That system was moved to the front desk Thursday.

The hotel opens with 81 suites, with 16 more suites to open once the new Terre Haute Children’s Museum, now under construction next door, is completed early next year. The hotel will occupy the fourth floor, which is separate from the museum, giving the hotel 97 suites.

“Our target market is people who stay five-plus nights,” Dora said. “Candlewood Suites is a mid-market price.” Dora has a 140-room Candlewood Suites in Indianapolis and soon will construct a Candlewood in Columbus, as well as one in Bloomington next year, he said.

“Our interest in the Candlewood [in Terre Haute] has been extremely good and I am confident we will do very well. We have a lot of things booked in advance,” Dora said, adding that the hotel is part of a priority club for IHG.

Dora said the hotel opened somewhat behind schedule because of unforeseen renovation issues.

“We had a few more problems than we anticipated, but overall, it went very well,” Dora said. “The whole south side, the whole exterior wall south, we basically replaced all of it. It was in really bad shape. That was probably the biggest thing we did not expect.”

“We framed it out and covered the brick with EIFS, which stands for exterior insulation finishing system. It took a lot more time,” he said.

Tim E. Murphy, who is the band director at Terre Haute South Vigo High School, has photographically documented the construction/renovation of the building along Wabash Avenue into the Candlewood Suites. He has a Web site, www.terrehautehouse.net, where he has posted photographs he has taken, both inside and out.

“I always loved old buildings and historic preservation, and I saw an opportunity to document something positive that is happening in our downtown,” Murphy said. “The Web site got its name from the Terre Haute House that was demolished. It snowballed from there …then about a year ago, I decided this was bigger than one corner and should cover all the great development downtown.

“I think it is such a great victory to see something preserved downtown. We’ve lost a lot of fine buildings in the last 75 years. I feel it is real important to show folks there is still stuff worth saving. I am glad there were people who had the vision to say this can be reused and adapted,” Murphy said.

“I am just so pleased that they did this and I think it says a lot,” he said.

After taking a quick tour Thursday, Rod Henry, president of Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce, agreed.

“What a facility. I look at it as taking a dinosaur, a building that was empty and unproductive, by somebody who could come in with the resources, creative juices, and the dream and vision to turn it into the showplace that it is now. I think it is amazing,” Henry said. “It is an asset to the whole community.”

Howard Greninger can be reached at (812) 231-4204 or [email protected].
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Old February 14th, 2009, 05:11 PM   #272
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Above will likely be the 5th and Cherry entrance, below the 4th and Cherry.

Will be:

Project to bring Barnes & Noble to downtown Terre Haute

New building has completion date of late ’09, early ’10
By Arthur E. Foulkes
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — For the first time in more than 20 years – and despite a sputtering economy – a major retailer is looking to move into the heart of downtown Terre Haute.

Barnes & Noble College Booksellers, which operates the Indiana State University bookstore, is planning to open a new bookstore downtown between Fourth and Fifth streets, south of Cherry Street.

The new retail store would replace and expand on the college bookstore now located in the Hulman Memorial Student Union in the middle of the ISU campus.

“Getting our students to be more involved downtown is one of our goals” of supporting the move, said ISU President Dan Bradley.

The new bookstore will offer longer hours, cater to non-students as well as student shoppers, and will be a destination point for people downtown, ISU officials said. It also will help support the construction of new offices for the ISU Foundation, the university’s fundraising arm.

“I’m excited for our students,” said Gene Crume, president of the foundation. “It’s a new place for them to gather.”

It’s not known how soon ground will be broken for the new building, Crume said Tuesday. The building, which is expected to be two stories and measure around 30,000 square feet, should be completed late this year or early in 2010, he said.

The property is now an ISU parking lot and once was the site of Prudential Plaza, a professional office building.

The total cost of the building could be as much as $5.5 million, said Dave Cocagne, president of Vermilion Development Corp. of Danville, Ill., the developer behind the project. It’s not yet known how much of the funding will come from the ISU Foundation, which employs around 45 people, Crume said. “It’s a substantial investment. We just don’t have a dollar figure yet.”

The ISU Foundation and Vermilion Development Corp. will share ownership of the building, Crume said.

On Thursday evening, Cocagne will urge members of the Terre Haute City Council to approve $500,000 in tax increment finance spending on the new project. Cocagne also hopes to receive at least $1 million in federal funding for the project, he said.

“In many of these projects, there is a desire to create something that is very compelling and visionary, but when it comes to the economics, there’s a gap,” Cocagne said. “It would be very difficult, absent the TIF funding, for this project to move forward.”

Vermilion Development Corp. specializes in projects that involve colleges and universities, Cocagne said, adding that the company is just wrapping up a three-story “gateway” project on the campus of the University of Illinois.

It’s not yet known what will replace the ISU bookstore at the Hulman Memorial Student Union, ISU President Bradley said. “There are people in line already for that space,” he said Tuesday. “We expect there will be lots of good ideas” for its use, he said.

The Vigo County Area Plan Commission at its meeting last week voted to recommend support for the project to the City Council. Cliff Lambert, executive director of the Terre Haute Department of Redevelopment, urged Plan Commission members to approve the project without naming the parties involved at the commission’s public meeting. The city’s Redevelopment Commission has also recommended city support for the project.

The new bookstore and ISU Foundation building will become a “destination venue for folks who live in Terre Haute,” Crume said. The building also will serve as a “new front door for [ISU] alumni, donors and friends of Indiana State.”

The property at Fifth and Cherry streets is currently owned by ISU but will be deeded back to the ISU Foundation soon, Crume said. The foundation originally bought the property for around $500,000 in 2004. The foundation then donated the property to ISU, which then invested nearly $1.5 million in construction and demolition costs on the Prudential building, which was torn down about two years ago.

Bradley, who is in his first year in the top spot at the university, said he knows not everyone will be pleased with the bookstore’s new location.

“I know there will be students who think that the walk is too far,” Bradley said, adding that parking will be available near the store, additional merchandise will be offered and the bookstore will have extended hours. Those benefits should help offset the longer walk, he said. “We’re excited to be a part of this,” he said.

Barnes and Noble College Booksellers operates more than 600 college bookstores around the country, a company official said Tuesday, adding that no details about the new ISU bookstore were immediately available.

Arthur E. Foulkes can be reached at (812) 231-4232 or [email protected].
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Old February 19th, 2009, 01:43 PM   #273
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ISU to build new baseball stadium
By Todd Golden
The Tribune-Star

CARBONDALE, ILL. — Indiana State starts its baseball season later this week. If all goes according to plan, this will be the last year ISU calls Sycamore Field home in its current incarnation.

ISU plans to tear down the current Sycamore Field and build a new baseball stadium on the same site. If everything is built as planned, the stadium will feature 1,500 chairback seats and bleacher seating that will raise capacity from 2,000 to 2,500 seats.

""When I came here [in 2005], our first priority was to get some of the personnel issues in shape. The second priority was facilities," ISU Director of Athletics Ron Prettyman said from courtside at SIU Arena in Carbondale, Ill., where he was attending the ISU-Southern Illinois men's basketball game. "We did the weight room, we did some things in Hulman Center, we resurfaced the track and the tennis courts, now it's time to look at our larger facilities."

The stadium will also have locker room facilities and the possibility of batting cages.

"We feel the time is right. The plans are in the process right now. We can't go into detail, but we are confident there's going to be a dramatic facelift to the facility," Prettyman said.

Prettyman also said the new stadium greatly increases the likelihood of a minor league baseball team moving or starting a franchise in Terre Haute. The Frontier League and the Central Illinois College League -- soon to be renamed the Prospects League -- have both shown in an interest in putting a franchise in Terre Haute.

Prettyman said the stadium could increase the visibility of Terre Haute as the facility could host collegiate baseball tournaments, high school playoffs, summer league tournaments, and possibly, the Missouri Valley Conference tournament, which Prettyman said he intends to bid on should the stadium be built.

"This facility is not only attractive to Indiana State University, but to Terre Haute too. We want our city to embrace this whole thing and see it as an opportunity for family entertainment and involvement," Prettyman said. "I'm really confident with the leadership we have in place and a facility coming in 2010, we're going to be a player in the Missouri Valley Conference and in the NCAA Tournament."

The new stadium will cost between $1.5 million and $2 million, depending on budgetary factors, according to Prettyman. The cost of the stadium will be funded via the ISU Foundation and private donations.

"The Foundation is very involved and they're working with us to identify donors. This is a priority for them. They see this is as an improvement to the campus and its facilities. They see it as a very valuable part of their objectives," Prettyman said.

The new stadium does not yet have a name. Prettyman said the university and ISU Foundation are exploring the possibility of seeking naming rights.

Prettyman also said that the women's soccer team will move its home games to Memorial Stadium. Prettyman said the baseball stadium should not affect other facility projects that are projected or planned.
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Old May 9th, 2009, 10:48 PM   #274
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Published: May 07, 2009 11:39 pm
ISU interior design students present plans to restore historic Blumberg Building

Downtown structure built in the 1880s
By Arthur E. Foulkes
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — The historic Blumberg Building downtown was transformed Thursday — in the minds of several Indiana State University students.

The 1880s structure at 526 Wabash Ave. was the subject of final class projects for ISU interior design students. The students were asked to come up with ideas for updating the currently abandoned building that once housed Silverstein Bros. furniture store.

“These are wonderful ideas,” said Andrew Conner, executive director of Downtown Terre Haute Inc.

Last year, similar ISU interior design projects focused on adjacent buildings at 522 and 524 Wabash and, just this week, renovation work started on those historic buildings, he said.

Story continues here.
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Old May 9th, 2009, 10:51 PM   #275
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Published: April 20, 2009 11:20 pm
Trail project in West Terre Haute about $150K away from goal
The Tribune-Star

A proposed wetlands project in West Terre Haute is just about $150,000 away, and county officials are hopeful.

“We’re going to keep trying until we get it,” Vigo County Parks Department Superintendent Keith Ruble said of the grant money necessary to develop a 1.9 mile trail and surrounding wetlands.

Starting at Dewey Point, formerly the Ramsey Tavern, the levee trail and wetlands would be one of the first projects in what Ruble said could become a 6,000-acre wetland area for wildlife and recreation.

“You have an opportunity here in West Terre Haute that’s never been taken advantage of,” he said Monday evening at the West Terre Haute Town Council meeting.

Depending on the $150,000 grant from the state, Ruble said, the trail could be finished as early as the summer of 2010, with the goal of eventually connecting with the Heritage Trail and Fairbanks Park.

Story continues here.
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Old May 9th, 2009, 10:56 PM   #276
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Published: March 30, 2009 11:50 pm

Vigo County commissioners have long-range capital improvement plan
By Howard Greninger

TERRE HAUTE — A five-year plan is under way that will allow Vigo County commissioners to budget for major improvements such as building repairs, technology upgrades and even a possible new county industrial park.

“We have never had a long-range capital improvement plan. This will help us rank projects to match up revenue for those needs,” said Commissioner President David Decker.

The plan is to rank those projects, with a description, starting this year through 2013.

“We will use this as a planning tool, something that has not been done in the past. Before, we always could get some kind of surprise, such as a roof that has collapsed, and find out it has not been replaced in 25 or more years,” Decker said.

Crowe Horwath LLP, a nationwide research/accounting firm with an office in Indianapolis, has conducted interviews with elected county officials or office managers and is organizing priorities for capital projects, which can include new equipment such as computers or vehicles, Decker said.

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Old June 21st, 2009, 05:54 AM   #277
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Wabashiki State Fish and Wildlife Area, near Downtown Terre Haute

This is precisely the type of development Terre Haute needs: improving their already outstanding parks and recreation, and creating a dense urban/natural environment. Kudos!

June 19, 2009 08:50 pm

Plan moves forward for Wabashiki State Fish and Wildlife Area

By Howard Greninger
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — A fish and wildlife wetlands area eventually could span nearly 6,000 acres on the west side of the Wabash River through Vigo County.

An initial 1,234 acres has been set aside for the wetlands, between U.S. 40 and Interstate 70 on the west side of the Wabash River. An additional 1,861 acres south of that, including a large section owned by a former paper mill on the west river bank, has been committed for the wetlands, said Max Miller, a former Purdue Extension agent and early advocate for the wetlands.

Miller is a member of the Wabash River Development and Beautification Inc., a not-for-profit organization spear-heading efforts to transform the river into a recreational resource.

Negotiations are under way to obtain 2,717 acres north of the original area, with a possible additional 145 acres being considered, Miller said Friday.

Anne Hazlett, director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, on Friday watched as a white egret stretched its wings as it flew across the wetlands near Dewey Point, the site of a former tavern on the far east side of West Terre Haute along U.S. 40. Hazlett visited the site to learn more about the wetlands project.

“With the different sportsmen’s groups involved, such as Quails Unlimited, Ducks Unlimited and the Nature Conservancy, oftentimes these groups may have differing philosophies or different models in how they support local initiatives like this,” Hazlett said, “so having everybody come together around this one asset, I think, is a real statement about the resource that this will be for the community and the state.”

Dewey Point is the site of a planned visitor center to include an office for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources as well as a glassed-in room for classes and observation of the wetlands. The cost to construct the center is projected at about $385,000 and is to be raised through grants and donations. The state would then assume annual maintenance costs, including four staff members, Miller said.

The wetlands project is known as the Wabashiki State Fish and Wildlife Area. “Wabashiki” is the Miami Indian pronunciation for the river.

The first portion of the wetlands, a concept first started in 2001, became a reality last year through funding from federal, state and Vigo County sources. Gov. Mitch Daniels provided $295,000 to the project, with $220,000 coming from the Indiana Heritage Trust program, accrued from the sales of the environmental license plate, and $75,000 from the Department of Natural Resource’s Division of Fish and Wildlife. Vigo County added $150,000 from a local income tax.

Keith Ruble, superintendent of the Vigo County Park and Recreation Department, said once bottom land along the river starts to dry up, possibly in the next two weeks, 27,000 trees will be planted. The trees are species that can live in a wetlands environment, such as Pin oak or Cyprus, he said.

“We will use a herbicide and trim around the trees to give them a good head start,” Ruble said. The county department will monitor, trim and use herbicides around the trees for the next three years.

“After that, they are on their own. Once the trees are 6 to 8 feet tall, they can survive,” Ruble said. “The wetlands and trees act like filters for the river and air,” he said, adding they “also provide a wildlife habitat for birds and animals.”

Howard Greninger can be reached at (812) 231-4204 or [email protected].
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Old July 11th, 2009, 04:15 PM   #278
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ISU christens Student Recreation Center


ISU opens new Student Recreation Center
By Lisa Trigg
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Fitness-conscious college students frustrated by “the dungeon” at Indiana State University saw their efforts to effect change pay off Friday with the opening of the new Student Recreation Center.

“It’s been a long time coming,” said Michael Scott Jr., president of the Student Government Association, and one of many student leaders who watched the project evolve. “The fact that we were able to have an impact on something of this magnitude shows how important student government is.”

The $21.7 million facility is the first of its kind for ISU — hailed as a product of “student advocacy and collaboration” — not connected to academic pursuits, but dedicated to the enhancement of student recreation and well-being.

The “dungeon” is the student moniker for the basement of the longtime athletic arena where students could work out and run inside a dark, cramped space enclosed by a chain fence and barbed wire. Recreational sports will move out of that arena building, which will revert to an academic and athletic-team function.

“We’re going to a Taj Mahal,” one former student noted of the Student Recreation Center, or SRC.

Within the attractive natatorium lies a swimming pool that is for more than swimming laps. The 112,067-gallon pool features three lap-swim lanes, as well as a large area for water volleyball and sports, a leisure pool, and a 22-person spa with Jacuzzi jets. The pool’s tropical atmosphere is enhanced by live plants and trees that decorate the islands and pool deck. A “wet” classroom supports aquatic programs such as lifeguard training and water safety classes.

The ground floor also includes a three-court gym that can host volleyball, basketball and badminton, a juice bar and lounge area, locker facilities and equipment rooms, a massage therapy room, and administrative offices. The second level features 10,500 square feet for fitness activities, including a cycling room, elevated jogging/running track, multipurpose activity rooms for aerobics, martial arts and cardio equipment with iPod integration, USB flash drives for transferring personal fitness data, and cable television.

The multi-activity court, or MAC, will allow indoor soccer and floor hockey, and can be set up to host dances and other social functions. That room, said John Lentz, Director of the Office of Recreational Sports, can be rented to the community for use at such times as Saturday and Sunday mornings, when students activities are not scheduled in that space.

As the public, including current students, alumni and ISU staff, poured through the building to examine the amenities, some incoming freshmen also were impressed by the facility.

“It’s a pleasant surprise,” said Imhotep Thomas Miller of Kokomo, who is taking a three-week summer class before starting full-time in the fall. An accounting major, Miller joined his friends in eyeing the indoor gym facility.

It is that type of positive response that ISU officials hope will draw more students to the university — and for more than just the recreation aspect.

Lentz said that student leadership is still at the forefront of the project. Students will gain experiential education by opening and managing the facility, and assisting in its operations. That is experience they can take to the workplace along with their degrees, he said.

No state funding was used to construct the $21.7 million facility. Private contributions provided $6.5 million, while the remainder will be paid through student fees. Starting with the coming academic year, a $100 per semester recreation fee has been added to each student’s bill.

Friday’s ribbon cutting also featured comments by D. Thomas Ramey, vice president of student affairs, ISU president Daniel J. Bradley, State Rep. Clyde Kersey, Board of Trustees President Michael Alley, and sculptor Douglas Kornfeld, whose “The Runner” greets those entering the spacious building.

Ramey said a main goal of the facility is to help retain students as well as attract them.

“This facility brings a new focus and new energy to campus,” he said.

Summer hours for the SRC will be 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and closed on Sundays.

The anticipated academic year hours are 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 10 p.m. Sundays.

Best of all for students, the $100 per semester fee covers student use of the building. ISU faculty and staff also may use the building for free. A rate schedule is available for alumni and guests.

Lisa Trigg can be reached at (812) 231-4254 or [email protected].
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Old December 18th, 2009, 05:03 PM   #279
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ISU Master Plan: Athletic Facilities move west, new downtown student housing?

ISU unveils sweeping new Master Plan

To guide the university’s physical plant for the next 20 years
By Sue Loughlin
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Indiana State University today is unveiling a new master plan that will guide its facilities and land use for the next 15 to 20 years.

The plan, developed by Ratio Architects, calls for updated student housing, several new athletic facilities west of Third Street and some upgraded academic facilities, including the College of Nursing, Health and Human Services.

Campus improvements will support redevelopment of the riverfront — called Riverscape — and support downtown revitalization.

Another goal is to make the campus more “visitor-friendly” by improving pedestrian and vehicular traffic patterns, and there eventually would be a review of all one-way streets on campus for possible conversion to two-way traffic.

“I think its exciting, it’s do-able and it will improve ISU and have a positive impact on the community,” ISU President Dan Bradley said of the master plan.

ISU trustees will review the plan today during a seminar. Later, during their regular meeting, trustees will be asked to accept the long-range plan, which builds on previous master plans.

The plan does not yet include cost estimates for various projects.

While the state’s economic challenges might delay some of the proposed facilities, planning is important, Bradley said. “We’ve got to keep our institutional vision looking out beyond the immediate,” he said.

Some of it should be achievable in the next five to 10 years, including renovation/construction of student housing, Bradley said.

Other aspects, such as building a new football stadium west of Third Street, could be 20 years away “because we don’t have the money to build a new football stadium today,” he said.

Construction of new athletic facilities will require private support.

Officials also emphasize that it is a long-range plan that is subject to change. “This is a conceptual plan that will evolve as we move forward,’ said Diann McKee, ISU vice president for business affairs.

While trustees are accepting the overall plan, each construction project must be approved independently.


In the next several years, much focus will be placed on modernizing ISU’s student housing, which will require both renovation and new construction.

Bradley has made it clear that student housing will remain close to downtown.

Some of the new construction could involve a public/private partnership.

Even with renovation/construction, the goal is to have about the same number of beds — 3,300 to 3,500.

“We hope to make our housing more appealing to our students” and more functional in ways that will help them be successful, Bradley said. Today’s students are demanding more space, privacy and amenities.

Many of ISU’s residence halls, such as the Sycamore Towers, “are antiquated and in need of a major refurbishment,” according to the plan.

First-year housing will likely consist of existing, renovated residence halls. For other students, the plan could involve off-campus housing south of Cherry Street.

“We don’t know what, if anything, we’ll want to put south of Cherry Street but we’re sure going to be looking there,” Bradley said.

ISU plans to partner with a developer on its overall student housing plans. The developer could be involved with such aspects as financing and construction. Bradley hopes to have more specific plans within the next six months.

“Housing is on the front burner,” the president said.

Renovation will reduce the number of beds in existing residence halls, which is why some new construction will be needed, either on or off campus, he said.


Under the plan, several athletic facilities, including track/field, soccer, softball and football, would eventually be moved west of Third Street across from campus. Within the next several years, Bradley expects to move track and field facilities to an area between the river and First Street.

The plan states, “The condition of the ISU athletic facilities is such the university has little choice but to begin planning for a number of new facilities and major renovations. Many of the existing competition facilities are ranked at or near the bottom of the Missouri Valley Conference.

“The under-utilized land west of U.S. 41 (Third Street) has been identified as the appropriate location for the development of new athletic competition and training facilities.”

The plan cites the availability of large tracts of land and the goal of supporting the city’s effort to revitalize the riverfront.

Bradley emphasizes the plan as presently written and drawn for athletic facilities is “a concept. You can do a lot of different things within that concept.”

Some of it could take 20 years, such as construction of a new football stadium.

The plan will likely call for the purchase of some retail establishments, but “that doesn’t mean necessarily there wouldn’t be any retail on Third Street across the street from us,” Bradley said.

Athletic facilities would be funded primarily through private giving, Bradley said.

“We have a lot of other things that will take an awful lot of effort,” he said. “The football stadium is nowhere near the top of my agenda list right now.”

Academic facilities

Two priorities that will require state funding are a renovation/addition project for the arena building to house the College of Nursing, Health and Human Services as well as renovation of Normal Hall for a student academic success center.

“Those are two buildings where we’ll look for substantial legislative assistance,” Bradley said.

Normal Hall is the oldest remaining structure built for use by the university and is considered architecturally significant.

With the state’s current economic challenges, Bradley suggests it could take 10 years to get both of those projects completed. ISU will push hard to get both completed sooner, but it will take legislative approval and “there are lots of people in line for those dollars,” Bradley said.

Other proposals

• With the track moving to the west of Third Street, ISU would like to develop a new main entrance or “gateway” to campus off Third Street that “lets the world know we’re here,” the president said previously.

• The plan suggests “enhanced medians” and use of roundabouts on Third Street, or U.S. 41, just west of ISU. Those measures would help slow down traffic and better enable pedestrians to cross the highway, Bradley said.

• Another long-range goal is to convert one-way streets on campus — including Cherry Street — to two-way streets. That would make it “much easier for everybody to get around,” Bradley said.


Bradley believes ISU can make a lot of progress on its student housing and the new Third Street “gateway” entranceway over the next five to seven years.

ISU has quite a bit of control over those projects, he said. It has less control over projects that must be funded through philanthropy or state appropriations, including athletic facilities and academic buildings.

He does believe a new track and field facility west of Third Street is achievable in the next few years.

Proposed ISU facility master plan improvements:

• A renovated housing stock that offers a number of market-friendly products.

• First-year housing options that are focused on being holistic learning environments from which young adults can safely launch into more independent living options.

• New housing facilities that are intended to fully address the demand for more space, amenities and independence for upperclassmen.

• Upgraded academic facilities for the College of Nursing, Health and Human Services. This will include moving nursing departments into the building, formerly known as the HYPR building, located between Fourth and Fifth streets. The college has significant potential for growth, the plan says. It would call for renovation of the facility and a sizable addition. It would be part of the new campus “front door.”

• Upgraded academic facilities for the Donald W. Scott College of Business.

• Upgraded academic facilities for the College of Arts and Sciences. The highest priority would be the renovation of the Science Building.

• The opportunity to realize a new visitor-friendly campus front door that seeks to feature the newly formed College of Nursing, Health and Human Services.

• Opportunities for the athletics department to improve its competition, practice and training facilities as funding allows.

Sue Loughlin can be reached at (812) 231-4235 or [email protected].
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