Melina Kennedy—a former Democratic Indianapolis deputy mayor and mayoral candidate—had a busy first day as the new leader of the Capital Improvement Board.
After being installed Monday as CIB president—a position often handpicked by the mayor, in this case Democrat Joe Hogsett—Kennedy presided as the CIB approved $1.63 million in improvements to Bankers Life Fieldhouse and Lucas Oil Stadium.
The biggest chunk of that—$1.06 million—was awarded to Fishers-based E.F. Marburger & Son for the replacement of carpet inside the seven-year-old Lucas Oil Stadium.
Carpet will be replaced in various areas including the press box, suite corridors, visitors’ locker room, meeting rooms, clubs and other areas throughout the building, according to CIB Executive Director Barney Levengood.
CIB members also agreed to pay Indianapolis-based Greiner Brothers Inc. $372,000 to replace a steam-driven hot water heater at Bankers Life Fieldhouse with one that is gas-fired, which Levengood said is more efficient.
Also at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, the CIB approved paying Indianapolis-based Verkler Inc. $189,000 to do box office renovations. Those renovations, Levengood explained, include new carpet, windows, painting and other design elements.
All those contracts were awarded, Levengood pointed out, after they went out for bid.
“What we do with these facilities is not unlike what you do with your house,” Levengood explained to the new board members. “Things get worn and they have to be repaired or replaced.”
At the end of Monday's meeting, Kennedy moved to change the monthly meeting from its longstanding time of 3 p.m. on the second Monday of the month to 8:30 a.m. on the second Friday of the month, saying board members are often busier with their day jobs on Mondays than they are Friday mornings. That change was agreed to unanimously.
In addition to Kennedy, other new CIB officers elected Monday are David Corbitt as vice president and May Ann Fagan as treasurer. Douglas Brown remains secretary.
Corbitt and Fagan, like Kennedy, are Hogsett appointees whose terms started this year. Brown is a holdover appointee of the county commissioners.
There have been rumblings of changes coming to the CIB ever since Hogsett was elected. And after he changed five of the six mayoral appointees—only hotelier James Dora Jr. was retained from the Greg Ballard regime—that speculation became heightened.
Some City-County Council members have begun to whisper about gaining more control of the CIB finances.
But Kennedy on Monday told IBJ she has no plans for major changes for the CIB—or the way the board does business—at this time.
“I want to continue the good work of this board. We want to continue to be good stewards,” she said. “Right now, my main priority is to make sure we continue the health and vitality of this board and the buildings we operate.”
The CIB overseas the Indiana Convention Center, Lucas Oil Stadium, Bankers Life Fieldhouse and Victory Field.
Kennedy said she’s had no conversations to this point with the mayor or any City-County Council members about taking any money from the CIB to be put in the city’s general or other funds.