In downtown Indianapolis, the RCA Dome's fabric roof — an 8-acre roof consisting of two layers of fabric supported by a series of cables and fans — was deflated in September, marking the next stop toward the removal of the Dome and the start of construction on the $275-million expansion of the Indiana Convention Center — a structure that will be attached to the new Lucas Oil Stadium by an enclosed pedestrian connector.
When completed in late fall 2010, the expanded convention center — combined with the new stadium space — will increase the amount of exhibition, meeting room, ballroom, and pre-function space from about 725,000 square feet to more than 1.2 million square feet. That includes 253,100 square feet of exhibition space and 63,000 square feet of meeting room space.
According to the Indiana Stadium & Convention Building Authority, walls and ceilings that don't comprise the RCA Dome's structural frame are currently being demolished and removed, as are salvage and memorabilia items. About half of the Dome will be dismantled with traditional demolition methods and the remaining upper level seating areas will be imploded, which is scheduled to occur in December.
According to the construction manager, a joint venture of Shiel Sexton/Powers & Sons, the project is on schedule, including the construction of new meeting rooms at the northwest corner of the existing convention center. When the expansion is complete, the Capital Improvement Board of Managers will manage the convention center.