The Veterans Memorial Coliseum in downtown Evansville received much needed repairs, but the man behind the 100-year-old walls isn’t a fan of how it happened. A report detailing disrepair in the old building shows the problems. But are those problems important?
If walls could talk, the Veterans Memorial Coliseum might say it’s healthier than it looks. Last year, it passed the century mark.
“You’re gonna have a few cracks,” said Coliseum Manager Mark Acker, “have a few crumbles here and there when you’re 100-years-old too, if you last that long.”
As proud as Old Glory flies over the historic landmark, Acker does the same by looking after the shrine to veteran’s of Vanderburgh County for the last two years. That’s why he takes this trip to the Vanderburgh County Commission meeting so personal.
“The building was unfairly treated,” said Acker.
Weeks ago, a report about disrepair in the old building came to light, and the list was long. But Acker says the problems are minor, and most have been addressed.
“Almost all if not all of them are completed,” said Vanderburgh County Commission President Bruce Ungethiem.
“They’re just cleaning up old things just left through the years,” said Acker.
Ungethiem says the inspector ignored problems covered by grandfathering.
“The inspector didn’t understand how old the building was,” said Ungethiem, “so that was the comment about some things were grandfathered in, that’s fine. We just need the inspection to see where we were.”
He says that’s routine.
“That happens all the time in buildings across Vanderburgh County,” said Ungetheim.
But Acker says a misleading report damaged the reputation of the coliseum.
“We deserve an apology,” said Acker. “That report did not in any way shape or form give you a proper picture of that building and its age.”
“I don’t think he deserves an apology,” said Ungethiem. “We own the building, and he’s the tenant. It’s our responsibility to make sure the building is safe.”
Ungethiem didn’t know the last time the Coliseum was inspected. He says it has been years and years.
Acker says he should have all the problems listed in the report fixed by next week.