MERRILLVILLE | For more than a year, a sign at 7404 Broadway has stated the Merrillville Stormwater Utility resource center would be coming soon.
Following a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday, the town can describe how soon it will be until the facility is complete.
Matt Lake, executive director of the Stormwater Utility, said the center could be finished in early December.
Grading at the site will begin Friday or Monday, Lake said.
After nearly two years of planning the project, Lake seemed excited to move forward with construction.
"It's been a long, long road," Lake said.
Earlier this month, the Stormwater Management Board awarded a construction contract to The Pangere Corp., which submitted a bid of $849,410 to build the 6,800-square-foot structure.
The bid was more than $1 million less than the construction cost of an initial design for the center.
After receiving bids for the previous design last year, stormwater officials "did a lot of value engineering" to reduce construction costs, Lake said.
Stutler Architects completed the streamlined design for the center, Lake said.
Stormwater Utility operations will move from a temporary location at 9111 Broadway to the new facility. Most of the facility will be used to store stormwater equipment.
The equipment currently is housed at Merrillville's Public Works facility, which is adjacent to the rear of the stormwater property.
Lake said he views the new building as more than an office and storage area. He hopes it will become the "hub for stormwater" management in Northwest Indiana.
Lake plans to offer educational events at the site for residents and local stormwater officials.
He said the utility would host workshops as it pursues other projects on the property, such as a rain garden and improvements to a drainage ditch on the land.