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 Gov. Beshear Announces Big Boost for Owensboro Riverfront

WESTERN Ky. (04/01/2015) – Thanks to a state and city partnership to fund Owensboro transportation projects, the International Bluegrass Music Center project will get $5 million needed to begin construction on Owensboro’s Riverfront.

Governor Steve Beshear joined Owensboro leaders on the Riverfront to announce the innovative partnership. Owensboro had been responsible for providing city matching funds for a federal allocation supporting the Riverfront. Instead, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet will invest available state matching funds for a portion of the city’s responsibility for that federal allocation. That move allows Owensboro to invest those millions in city funds in the International Bluegrass Music Center, completing the funding for $15 million project.

“This partnership is really about the most efficient use of available money for the greatest impact for the community,” said Gov. Beshear. “The state has played a big role in the Riverfront, from donating a former state office building to assisting with design and construction to supporting the resulting downtown development. Providing these matching funds continues that work, and creates the added opportunity for the city to invest in a signature museum for the region.”

“It has been an honor to work with Governor Beshear on this project,” said Owensboro mayor Ron Payne. “The International Bluegrass Music Center is a continuation of Owensboro’s renaissance. The state’s recognition and support of our commitment to making our community a destination city is another prime example of partnerships in action. We could not have experienced the success that we have without buy-in from both public and private resources. We can now make the International Bluegrass Music Center a reality.”

The International Bluegrass Music Center will be built on the site of the old state office building, which was demolished this past year as part of the Riverfront rehabilitation. The site is in the heart of the city’s waterfront park on the Ohio River, next to two new hotels and the new convention center.

Plans for the new music center include doubling the square footage of the current facility, with a 500-seat concert hall, a 2,000-seat outdoor concert area, a research library, teaching rooms, and a rooftop restaurant overlooking the river.

Construction is expected to begin on the International Bluegrass Music Center in this year, with completion targeted for 2017.

Information provided by the Governor's Communications Office
Posted by J.L. Graham
KenCo News