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Museum Center Renovation Chugging Along

Tana Weingartner

The latest architectural drawings are in for the Union Terminal restoration and the project remains on schedule and on budget. That's the latest from the task force overseeing the work.

Some construction bidding is underway and more will go out soon for the $212 million project.

Cincinnati Museum Center CEO Elizabeth Pierce says crews have found an additional structural issue.

"One of the repair needs that we didn't fully appreciate until we did the 3D laser scan was the drum wall at the base of the dome," Pierce says. "There are bricks that need to be taken almost all the way down to the roof line and then rebuilt to make sure that they are reattached to the structure appropriately because they are out of alignment right now."

Pierce says the cost to fix the wall won't increase the project's budget. Investigatory work is still underway to find as many problems as possible now to decrease unexpected issues down the road.

Applications for state and federal historic preservation tax credits have been submitted. Members of the Union Terminal Restoration Advisory Committee say that process is also going well.

"We are confident with the federal ones," says Pierce. "We're getting good feedback from the state historic preservation office that then has to make a recommendation to the National Park Service."

Final word on those credits is expected in August. They would total about $21.25 million. The group will likely learn about the state tax credits, worth roughly $3.25 million, in June. Pierce says the state has fewer credits to go around, so it's possible several applications could be needed.

The project is slated to wrap up in Fall 2018. The Natural History Museum and the Cincinnati History Museum close soon for the two-year project. The Children's Museum and special exhibit space will remain open during construction.