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Eighteen Months After Sinkhole Collapse, Corvette Museum Celebrates Reopening of Skydome

Lisa Autry

The National Corvette Museum marked a milestone Thursday when it celebrated the reopening of the Skydome, the site of a massive sinkhole collapse on February 12, 2014. 

Eight prized cars fell into the 45-foot hole and most suffered extensive damage. 

Executive Director Wendell Strode thanked the community for its support throughout the ordeal.

"While we had a disastrous situation, everybody worked together and we're back better than ever, stronger than ever, more united than ever," Strode told WKU Public Radio.  "It's just a great day."

Construction Manager Mike Murphy of Murphy, Scott, and Daniel reflected on the past 18 months and said each phase of reconstruction had its challenges.

"Initially, it was how to get all the cars out safely with the structure in the condition it was in, so it was two-fold," Murphy explained.  "We had to secure everything first to bring the heavy equipment in, and then extract the cars, and of course a lot of them weren’t intact. This was the first big challenge."

The repair work took the Skydome from three levels to one, which created more display space.  Among the Corvette enthusiasts checking out the Skydome was Rick Simone of Shepherdsville.

"I think it looks fantastic.  I'm glad they filled it all in rather than keep part of it open like they were talking about.  I thought it was an eyesore and bad memories," Simone added.  "I know thy were trying to preserve some of the history, but I wanted to see it back the way it was."

The repair work took the Skydome from three levels to one, which created more display space.

The museum also unveiled the newly restored one-millionth Corvette, a white 1993 convertible, one of the eight cars swallowed by the sinkhole.

In late fall, the museum will open the Corvette Cave In: The Skydome Sinkhole Experience which will document the collapse and restoration of the cars and facility. 

The sinkhole boosted museum visits by 67 percent last year, and those numbers have held steady since then.

Lisa is a Scottsville native and WKU alum. She has worked in radio as a news reporter and anchor for 18 years. Prior to joining WKU Public Radio, she most recently worked at WHAS in Louisville and WLAC in Nashville. She has received numerous awards from the Associated Press, including Best Reporter in Kentucky. Many of her stories have been heard on NPR.
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