TERRE HAUTE (AP) -- A search has started for a downtown site to construct a new federal courthouse as Indiana State University prepares to take over the current building.
Proposals are being accepted until the end of February from developers willing to build the 90,000- to 135,000-square-foot facility, but no timeline has been set for construction, said David Wilkinson, a spokesman for the federal General Services Administration's Chicago office.
"This is a very preliminary look at the availability of a site for a lease/construction of a building," he said. "That would determine the schedule for further discussions for more specific information about a site."
The GSA began advertising for building proposals on Sunday. The agency will consider security issues, zoning and environmental issues in selecting a site, Wilkinson said.
ISU officials have signed an agreement to obtain the current courthouse, which opened in 1935 and is next to the 11,000-student campus. The university plans to renovate the building into a new home for its School of Business, possibly by 2007.
Federal grants are expected to provide $7.1 million for the renovation, about half the amount necessary. Indiana State plans a private fund-raising drive to obtain the rest of the money.
The Postal Service will remain in the building, which is noted as the best example of art deco architecture in the city, with marble on the inside and Indiana limestone on the outside.
The building's centerpiece is the second-floor federal courtroom with its mural of the signing of the Magna Carta. The Depression-era Works Progress Administration commissioned artist Frederick Webb Ross to paint the 20-by-20-foot mural.