Convention center grows

August 15, 2012

Summary: St. Clair County is working with Convergence Design on a new convention center in Port Huron, Michigan.

Times Herald

The Port Huron City Council will meet at 4 p.m. today to discuss a final change at the Thomas Edison Inn property.

"We have a boundary adjustment to make at the Thomas Edison Inn property," said Bruce Brown, Port Huron city manager. "Basically, the convention center is going to be larger than originally estimated, so we have to accommodate that."

He said the change will be the last step before the sale of the inn goes through.

The meeting will be in the public meeting room at the Municipal Office Center, 100 McMorran Blvd.

At the most recent St. Clair County Board of Commissioners budget workshop, County Administrator Bill Kauffman and corporation counsel Gary Fletcher reported the footprint of the convention center grew by 5,000 square feet (to 45,000 square feet) to best meet the county's needs and expectations for the facility.

The changes came after a preliminary design meeting. Kauffman met with Bill Krueger of Convention, Sports and Leisure -- the consulting firm behind the convention center plan -- architect David Greusel with Convergence Design of Kansas City, Mo., and local architect Dave French -- who volunteered to advise the county -- in early July to hash out the basic shape of the Blue Water Area Convention Center.

The initial meeting did not produce a design that the county liked, and multiple revisions led to the larger footprint, although Kauffman said the convention center will be constructed within the county's $9 million budget.

Developer John Wheeler with JB Development and Orion Construction in Grand Rapids said the company is closing on two portions of the Thomas Edison Inn property today and the last will close Thursday.

Port Huron previously approved the site plan for the convention center but with the original size in mind.

Tonight's meeting will correct the size if approved by the council.

"This is the last piece, and then we're done, and the project takes off like a rocket," Brown said. "I'm excited."

Contact Holly Setter at (810) 989-7641 or hsetter@gannett.com. Follow her on Twitter @hsetter.



* The Port Huron City Council will meet at 4 p.m. today in the public meeting room at the Municipal Office Center, 100 McMorran Boulevard. The meeting is open to the public.

ID_Code: BP-308150011


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