The city of Owensboro is allocating $5 million for the construction of the new International Bluegrass Music Center project along the town’s riverfront.
The money is being made available through a partnership between the city and state announced Wednesday by Governor Beshear and city leaders.
Owensboro has been providing matching funds for a federal allocation supporting the riverfront. As a result of the new agreement, the state Transportation Cabinet will invest available state matching funds for a portion of the city’s responsibility for that federal allocation.
The move allows Owensboro to invest $5 million of its funds in the new International Bluegrass Music Center, completing the $15 million project.
Owensboro Mayor Ron Payne believes the entire state will benefit from the new music center.
“We told the Governor early on that this is really not an Owensboro project, this is a Commonwealth project. Bluegrass is international, and we will be promoting not only Owensboro, but the state of Kentucky.”
Payne says the new music center is needed because the International Bluegrass Music Museum currently housed in the city’s downtown has outgrown its current facility. He thinks the new center will a jewel along Owensboro’s riverfront.
“It will have an auditorium in the facility, and it’s the intention of the bluegrass folks to broadcast a bluegrass opry out of there throughout the world.”
Construction on the new bluegrass music center will begin this summer, with the opening scheduled for 2017.