Construction outlook appears strong in Evansville, Indiana

By: Andrew C. Briscoe

The Evansville, Indiana area is experiencing a period of previously unseen growth in the construction sector.  Currently, four high-profile construction projects are underway, including the new municipal arena, museum expansion and renovation, North High School and Junior School campus, and I-69 expansion.

The arena, which will have a seating capacity of 11,000 and will, among other things, be host to the Evansville Purple Aces men’s and women’s basketball teams, is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2011.  Of the budgeted $127.5 million for the project, nearly $90 million will go toward the actual construction of the facility, and the rest will be for costs such as demolition and land purchases.

Renovation efforts began on the Old Gallery at the Evansville Museum.  The Old Gallery encompasses roughly 5,000 square feet is renovation is estimated to cost nearly $700,000.  The renovation will provide a new, large meeting and activity space.  The Old Gallery’s reopening in March will launch a public campaign to raise money for a total building expansion, which will include, among other things, a new planetarium and new science and history centers.

In addition to the aforementioned projects, construction on the estimated $85 million North High School and Junior High School campus is underway, and construction on Interstate 69 continues.

The new municipal arena and the Evansville Museum renovation and expansion appear to be directly tied to the envisioned influx of tourism which will be provided by I-69.  As the completion date for I-69 nears, additional construction is expected, especially on locations near the I-64 bypass.   Once complete, travelers from Evansville will be able to reach four major metropolitan areas in less than three hours, with all routes via interstate, including Indianapolis (142 miles), Louisville (119 miles), Nashville (156 miles), and St. Louis (170 miles).  Given its centrality, Evansville will be on the short list of locations for companies looking to establish regional headquarters and distribution centers.