With one year of construction work left, the $600 million renovation of the Miami Beach Convention Center was hit with $450,000 of damage — mostly due to leaks — during last week’s severe storm. But city officials said Tuesday the damage won’t delay completion of the work.
“The damage was mostly to the drywall and ceilings, maybe some light fixtures, in a couple areas of the east lobby interior and some other locations,” said Melissa Berthier, Miami Beach spokeswoman. “Also, some construction material being stored on site was damaged. The cost is a rough estimate at this point, but the construction team is preparing a full damage assessment report that is currently in the works.”
Some of the damage, first reported by the Miami New Times, was visible during a media tour of the construction site Tuesday. On the east side of the building, inside a new facade of glass windows, water stains could be seen on the ceiling.
“We’re just not finished,” said Maria Hernandez, project director for the convention center district. “When it’s finished, this [leaking] won’t happen.”
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Hernandez said the city’s insurance policy covers the damage from the storm. The repairs are not expected to affect the convention center’s schedule.
Unlike buildings in other parts of the city that were inundated during the deluge, the convention center wasn’t flooded from the street. Wind peeled back temporary roofing, allowing rain to seep in.
Mayor Philip Levine, Hernandez and officials from Clark Construction led reporters on a tour of the facility, which is about 50 percent complete. The east half of the center, with two exhibition halls, has already hosted events including Major League Baseball’s All-Star FanFest, a festival held in July before the All-Star Game was played in Marlins Park.
Although work won’t be finished, enough is expected to be done that the building will be ready for Art Basel Miami Beach in December, the international art fair that city officials consider the center’s marquee event.
“The good news is that this did not affect any shows — nor will it — since the storm happened during a period of time between events,” Berthier said.
On Tuesday, Hernandez said the date for substantial completion of the whole project, which includes a new public park on what used to be a parking lot across the street from the west end of the convention center, is set for Aug. 8, 2018.