Plan for Keller property outlined
Keller Manufacturing Co. in Corydon ceased operations on Dec. 31, 2003. Nearly five years later, steps have been taken for redevelopment to move forward on the site.
Jim Epperson, executive director of the Harrison County Convention & Visitors Bureau, and Floyd (Bud) Bennett of Bennett & Bennett Insurance and Main Street Corydon Inc., presented the Harrison County Board of Commissioners with Main Street’s plans for the old Keller site property Monday night.
Epperson said the plan for the 14.6-acre property includes a conference center, amphitheater, museum and a 100-room hotel.
‘It (hotel) will be required further down the road to make this successful,’ said Epperson.
A feasibility study determined the need for 25,000 square feet of meeting space for local and county events, statewide association meetings, Louisville corporate business and special-interest groups. The center will include an 800 to 1,000 person ballroom with dividable sections and several high-tech breakout rooms, including one large board room. Epperson said the design structure will fit with downtown architecture and will be used for small meetings, large conferences, weddings, banquets and musical or other performances.
Epperson said Main Street representatives took a bus tour of other comparable event centers in July and concluded the Paroquet Springs Conference Centre in Shepherdsville, Ky., is most in-line with the Corydon project.
Epperson detailed the history of the project beginning nearly five years ago.
‘Quite a bit has been done,’ he said.
Main Street bought the property on July 1, 2004, with funds from a Community Focus Fund Grant and a 10-percent match from the town of Corydon. The Keller redevelopment plan began in late 2004 with another Community Focus Grant and town match. Purdue University conducted a feasibility study in 2005 then, in 2007, non-desirable buildings on the property were demolished, thanks to a $500,000 grant from Brownfields and Land Revitalization and a county match of nearly $80,000. Two environmental phases have been completed, and Epperson said Phase III testing still needs to be completed and submitted to Brownfields.
The commissioners will make an appointment to the finance and building committees for the project. The county council appointed Chris Timberlake to the building committee and Gordon Pendleton to the finance committee at its last meeting. The finance committee’s first priority will be to create a list of potential grants to help fund the project, which Bennett estimated between $7 million and $9 million.