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Economy and Business

Cleveland's convention center is opening sooner than planned
The taxpayer-funded facility is also coming in under budget in June

Kevin Niedermier
Cleveland's new convention center is 90 percent finished and will open earlier than planned.
Courtesy of Kevin Niedermier
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Cleveland’s new convention will be finished about six weeks earlier than planned. And, it will be about $10 million under budget.

The $465 million taxpayer-funded project was to open July 19 to host the National Senior Games. But, project spokesman Dave Johnson says the facility will open June 1.

He credits Turner Construction with keeping the work ahead of schedule through constant communication with the 200 different contractors. And, he says the use of cutting-edge computer modeling also kept the constantly evolving project moving.

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For example, the project used "I-Pad technology to pass change orders along quickly to contractors on site to keep up with what’s called a 'design-build' project. So while the architectural designs were changing, Turner and the contractors were able to make changes on the project like actually installing equipment.”

Johnson says when the convention center opens June 1, a series of small events will be held to test the facility’s operations, including catering and electrical systems. The facility’s health innovation center, formerly known as the medical mart, will open in mid-October.

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