Pinellas Park firm designs Corvette sinkhole exhibit

- A design company in Pinellas Park is looking on fondly as the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky, is beginning work on a second car it pulled from a sinkhole in 2014.

The video of the sinkhole swallowing their precious cars went viral. The museum embraced the whole thing.

"After that event, attendance increased by seventy percent," said Roger Barganier of Creative Arts in Pinellas Park. "They wanted to create an exhibit that would educate the public about the sinkhole."

They pulled all eight crumpled Corvettes from sixty feet down. Six were left as-is, but the two that were least damaged will be fully restored.

Creative Arts designed the 75-foot-long exhibit, complete with a dome over the original sinkhole. It features exhibits on geology, news clippings and rescuing the cars.

"We are not selling liquor and cigarettes to children with what we do, you sleep well at night," said Barganier. "Everything we do is a beneficial type of project."

Their designs are put together in the 34,000 sq. ft. warehouse. Once they're finished, they ship them by truck or boat. In the case of the Bowling Green museum, it took them three tractor trailers to get it there.

"[We have] graphic designers, industrial designers, architect, interior designers, woodworkers, fabricators, and all of those people work together like a musical band to do their part to make this happen."

In the year since it opened, 250,000 have visited. Starting this week, visitors will get to watch daily as museum staff restore a second, once sunken, Corvette.

"That's the icing on the cake when you can see it actually done and my gosh you created this from nothing," said Barganier.

A whole museum, about a hole... from Pinellas Park to Kentucky.

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