Corvette Museum board decides to keep smaller portion of sinkhol - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Corvette Museum board decides to keep smaller portion of sinkhole open permanently

The large sinkhole opened underneath the museum on February 12, 2014. (Source: National Corvette Museum) The large sinkhole opened underneath the museum on February 12, 2014. (Source: National Corvette Museum)

BOWLING GREEN, KY (WAVE) - The National Corvette Museum Board of Directors decided on Wednesday to keep permanently open a smaller portion of the sinkhole that swallowed eight cars in the facility's Skydome building last winter, pending a review of further information.

The board considered three options: filling the sinkhole and replacing the floor so the building returned to its previous state, keeping the entire sinkhole open or keeping a smaller portion of the hole open.

[PREVIOUS STORY: Surveillance video shows Corvettes falling into sinkhole at National Museum]

With 14 of the 16 board members present, the group decided to move forward with the third option. As it stands, this option would include an opening approximately 25' by 45' wide and 30' deep, providing views into a portion of the cave. The opening could include a dirt embankment where one or two of the damaged cars could be placed for display.

Additional information was requested on the potential impact of the room's humidity on any cars displayed, the temperature control of the room and any associated impact on the museum's utility costs, and costs associated with maintaining the Skydome if the hole is left partially open. The additional information could result in the plans being modified.

[PREVIOUS STORY: Corvettes start to emerge from giant sinkhole]

"You come in and you have all these displays of the history and life of Corvette," said Mike Murphy, CEO of Scott, Murphy and Daniel Construction, "and then you come into the Skydome to see this new part of history. I think it will always be a part of history, but will the increased attendance continue? I don't know, but it will always be of high interest."

According to museum Chief Financial Officer Christy Thomas, there has been a 59 percent increase in the number of visitors to the museum from March to June 2014 compared to the same time period in 2013. The museum has also seen a 71 percent increase in admissions income, a 58 percent increase in Corvette Store sales, a 46 percent increase in Corvette Cafe sales and a 72 percent increase in memberships, Thomas said.

"If the interest in the exhibit wanes or if, down the road, we decided that we don't want the hole any longer, there is always an option to put the room back how it was," Thomas said.

"We have to look at creative ways to generate interest in the museum said Executive Director Wendell Strode. "It would be so much easier to just be a regular automotive museum with our Corvettes on display, but we have to think outside the box."

The construction plans also include eliminating the two-level display space that once existed in the Skydome, making it easier to get cars in and out and increasing the number of cars that can be accommodated for display.

The sinkhole and eight damaged Corvettes will be left on display "as is" through the end of August. Construction is slated to begin in September.

Copyright 2014 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.

  • FOX19 HeadlinesMore>>

  • U.S. 27 reopens after multi-vehicle crash involving ambulance

    U.S. 27 reopens after multi-vehicle crash involving ambulance

    Saturday, February 17 2018 4:19 PM EST2018-02-17 21:19:42 GMT
    File photo (Source: WXIX)File photo (Source: WXIX)

    Officials say multiple people are injured after a crash on a U.S. highway involving an ambulance. Pendleton County Emergency Management says U.S. 27 is shut down near Liberty Ridge Road due to the multi-vehicle crash. It is unclear how many people are injured or how many vehicles were involved. Pendleton County Emergency Management A dispatcher says the ambulance involved is a Pendleton County emergency vehicle. Stay with FOX19 NOW for updates. Copyright 2018 WXIX. All righ...

    Full Story >

    Officials say multiple people are injured after a crash on a U.S. highway involving an ambulance. Pendleton County Emergency Management says U.S. 27 is shut down near Liberty Ridge Road due to the multi-vehicle crash. It is unclear how many people are injured or how many vehicles were involved. Pendleton County Emergency Management A dispatcher says the ambulance involved is a Pendleton County emergency vehicle. Stay with FOX19 NOW for updates. Copyright 2018 WXIX. All righ...

    Full Story >
  • Trump focuses on first responders after Florida shooting

    Trump focuses on first responders after Florida shooting

    Saturday, February 17 2018 1:30 AM EST2018-02-17 06:30:42 GMT
    Saturday, February 17 2018 4:11 PM EST2018-02-17 21:11:33 GMT
    President Donald Trump visited a Florida community reeling from a deadly school shooting, meeting privately with victims and cheering the heroics of first responders, but extending few public words of consolation...Full Story >
    President Donald Trump visited a Florida community reeling from a deadly school shooting, meeting privately with victims and cheering the heroics of first responders, but extending few public words of consolation to those in deep mourning.Full Story >
  • Bridge repair causes closure on SR 131 in Clermont County

    Bridge repair causes closure on SR 131 in Clermont County

    Saturday, February 17 2018 4:06 PM EST2018-02-17 21:06:02 GMT
    (flickr)(flickr)

    The Ohio Department of Transportation crews are conducting bridge repair work causing SR 131 to be shut down between Doublegate Drive and Highland Terrace until Monday night. 

    Full Story >

    The Ohio Department of Transportation crews are conducting bridge repair work causing SR 131 to be shut down between Doublegate Drive and Highland Terrace until Monday night. 

    Full Story >
Powered by Frankly