Community center breaks ground Wednesday

2012-08-02T20:49:00Z 2012-08-02T21:00:11Z Community center breaks ground WednesdayBy Chas Reilly, (219) 662-5324

SCHERERVILLE | Construction of a community center in Scherwood Park looks to be quickly approaching after the town signed a contract with Berglund Construction last week, Town Council President Tom Schmitt said.

Town Manager Bob Volkmann said a groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled at 5 p.m. Wednesday at the park. Construction of the 12,000-square-foot building could be finished in April or May, Volkmann said.

The council awarded a $1.9 million construction contract to Berglund. It also approved a $2.5 million loan from the Kennedy Avenue tax increment financing district.

The money will be paid back through a $2 million parks bond and a $480,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The bond could cost taxpayers roughly $9.50 to $10.50 per year, based on a home valued at $250,000.

Schmitt said he is excited for the project to begin.

He and other supporters of the facility have said it is needed because the parks department has outgrown its existing building in Rohrman Park.

Schererville could expand its programming with the new center. Revenue from parks programs would be used to fund the center's operating costs, town leaders said.

Councilman Jerry Tippy has opposed moving forward with the center at this time.

While he thinks parks officials  can increase programming, he is unsure if it can offer enough to support the building's operating costs.

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