- Associated Press - Monday, May 26, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Indiana leaders are seeking proposals for a bicentennial plaza near the Statehouse on which many of the 2016 statehood celebrations would occur.

The Department of Administration has issued a request for information for the plaza to gauge the feasibility of such a project.

The Indianapolis Business Journal reports (https://bit.ly/1neYlAx ) Gov. Mike Pence has encouraged the Indiana Bicentennial Commission to consider bicentennial-related capital projects. Pence was a history major at Hanover College and has taken an interest in bicentennial preparations.

“The plaza idea is one that came up as a longstanding legacy capital project the commission can get behind,” said Chris Jensen, who’s stepping down as executive director of the commission.

The request calls for a $2 million construction budget and asks those interested to incorporate native Indiana materials. Proposals also should recognize the 92 counties and include a water feature, a time capsule and a torch light.

The administration department also wants to create a welcome center at the state library. The center would help educate fourth-graders who tour the Statehouse every year while learning about Indiana history.

The bicentennial commission was appointed by former Gov. Mitch Daniels and has been meeting for more than two years to plan the 2016 celebrations.

One of the signature events of the bicentennial will be a 92-county torch relay, which will culminate in Indianapolis in October 2016. Jensen said the event’s planners hope to incorporate an eternal flame into the design of the plaza if it is built.

Indiana’s statehood day is Dec. 11.


Information from: Indianapolis Business Journal, https://www.ibj.com

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