French Lick opens event center six weeks ahead of schedule
As if the French Lick Resort in southern Indiana didn’t offer enough amenities for the business and pleasure of attendees, it now offers a newly completed addition to its Meeting and Event Center.
F.A. Wilhelm Construction served as general contractor for $8 million of this $15.5 million project. Wilhelm was responsible for foundations, structural steel, the outside enclosure, interior drywall and finishes. The addition is 58,000 square feet and built between the existing parking garage and French Lick Event Center.
The best part of the entire project, according to project manager Kurt Schlebecker, was completing the project early. Wilhelm Construction managed to complete the project a solid six weeks ahead of schedule, allowing French Lick to begin using the event spaces early.
Considering the challenges the project team faced in this project, an early finish date is impressive.
“We experienced several unique challenges almost immediately,” Schlebecker said. One of these challenges was putting the addition in a very tight space, leaving virtually no laydown area. Workers were right up on the west property line of the resort, wedging the building onto the back end of an existing facility.
Another challenge was executing construction next to an occupied resort that continued to hold conferences.
“Merging this building with a new one required expert coordination,” Schlebecker said. “We were careful to not distract them with our construction activity.”
Schlebecker credited Wilhelm’s extensive experience to the successful navigation around these problems.
“Wilhelm has a history of working through these types of challenges” Schlebecker said. “We expanded the Indianapolis Museum of Art for three years while it was still in full use to the public. We have vast experience adding onto existing facilities, and these experiences help us exceed owners’ expectations.”
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