Krempp Construction awarded cultural center project

The construction contract with Krempp Construction includes an April 1 start date, with 18 months to finish the Thyen-Clark Cultural Center project. (Artistic rendering courtesy Jasper Public Library)

By LEANN BURKE
lburke@dcherald.com

JASPER — In another major step forward for the Thyen-Clark Cultural Center, the Jasper City/Library LLC awarded Krempp Construction of Jasper the construction contract Wednesday night.

Already more than five years in the making, the Thyen-Clark Cultural Center will unite the Jasper Community Arts Commission and Jasper Public Library in one building at the corner of Third and Mill streets in downtown Jasper.

The Jasper City/Library LLC will manage the project on behalf of the arts commission and library in a structure similar to the building corporation structure the school corporation uses for major projects. The LLC’s action Wednesday paves the way for construction to begin in April.

The total bid came in at $13,761,000, about $700,000 over the construction budget of $13 million that city and library officials have worked with since the library campaigned for a property tax referendum for construction in 2016. However, the total budget for the project — which includes soft costs such as furnishings, and engineering and design costs — is $17 million, so library and city officials are confident they will be able to move funds around to cover the higher construction cost.

“We don’t feel as though our budget has changed,” said Library Director Christine Golden. “It’s like a puzzle. We’ve just moved pieces around to make it work.”

The state has already excused the project from sales tax charges, which will save about $500,000, and the project will be able to avoid capitalized interest on construction bonds, which will save an additional $400,000. The Jasper Library, Enrichment, Arts and Downtown (LEADs) fundraising campaign that focuses on the cultural center has already raised $4.8 million, and will pick up speed again, hopefully bringing in additional funds for the project.

The next steps for the project are selling the bonds and tax credits from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation that will fund the project. Those sales are expected to close in mid to late March.

The next action the public will see will happen this spring, weather permitting. The construction contract with Krempp Construction includes an April 1 start date, with 18 months to finish.

“We’re excited to work with Krempp on this,” said Golden, adding that it’s nice to have a local contractor who will take pride in the project.

Jasper Mayor Dean Vonderheide was also happy to see the contract go to a local company.

“It’s what we always hoped for,” he said.

 

The Jasper City/Library LLC also:

• Approved contracting Hafer Associates of Evansville to serve as the engineering firm overseeing the project.

• Approved a trust indenture that allows the LLC to manage the finances of the project and to proceed with the sale of the tax credits from the IEDC.




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