Policy: Budgets & Deficits

Construction moves forward on convention center

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Photo - Nate Dohr, of Bancroft, places the rebar into mold where the concrete will be poured for a wall at the convention center Thursday, June 19, 2014, in Port Huron, Mich. The site is next to the DoubleTree by Hilton in Port Huron. (AP Photo/Times Herald, Mark R. Rummel)
Nate Dohr, of Bancroft, places the rebar into mold where the concrete will be poured for a wall at the convention center Thursday, June 19, 2014, in Port Huron, Mich. The site is next to the DoubleTree by Hilton in Port Huron. (AP Photo/Times Herald, Mark R. Rummel)
News,Business,Michigan,Budgets and Deficits

PORT HURON, Mich. (AP) — Construction is moving forward on the Blue Water Area Convention Center along the St. Clair River in Port Huron that will include an event hall, meeting rooms and ballroom.

The northern footings of the facility are in place and the walls of the 43,000-square-foot building will go up in August, the Times Herald of Port Huron reported (http://bwne.ws/1nSlSsM ). Before that time, plumbing, electrical and mechanical work will be completed at the site.

"It takes a while to get all those concrete walls manufactured, and footings they sit on need time to settle and harden up," St. Clair County Administrator Bill Kauffman said.

About $9 million has been set aside for the St. Clair County project, which includes a 20,000-square-foot event hall.

The convention center will join a riverfront development that includes the refurbished DoubleTree by Hilton, Freighters Taproom and Eatery, and the Baker College Culinary Institute. Plans for the Blue Water Convention Center were announced in 2011.

Since then, progress has been made on other portions of the overall development along the St. Clair River. The Baker College Culinary Institute opened to students last July. The DoubleTree by Hilton and Freighters Taproom and Eatery opened in August.

Professional management business SMG will begin to actively pursue events for the convention center with the Blue Water Area Convention and Visitors Bureau on July 1, said Richard MacKeigan, SMG's regional general manager and regional booking director.

"Many of these events book six months, a year, three years out," MacKeigan said. "It is a good time to be starting."

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Information from: Times Herald, http://www.thetimesherald.com

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