PORTAGE | The Portage Yacht Club could come down next month.

The Redevelopment Commission on Wednesday awarded a contract to Environmental Cleansing Corp. of Markham, Ill., to demolish the decades-old building. The cost is $94,270. ECC submitted the lowest of 12 bids for the project.

Jeff Crafton, of ECC, said demolition could begin as early as April 15 and will take 45 days to complete. Prior to its demolition, the city's fire and police departments will have an opportunity to conduct training inside the building.

The city bought the building several years ago and used it as a rental facility. It originally was built as a clubhouse for employees at Midwest Steel. However, the condition of the building has deteriorated and officials decided it would cost more to rehabilitate the building than it would bring in for event rentals.

In other business, the commission opened bids for construction of a parking area on the far east side of the city's street department facility on Hamstrom Road. Construction of the gravel lot on about three acres is the first phase of building a new street department facility.

Bids, with base bid prices, were received from Dyer Construction of Dyer for $659,645; Austgen Equipment of Crown Point for $282,839; Rieth-Riley of Gary for $580,756 and GE Marshall of Valparaiso for $839,000. The bids were taken under advisement.

The commission also approved a resolution accepting a federal Community Development Block Grant for $174,308. The funds will be used to buy and demolish the Kellenburger house along the east arm of the Burns Waterway. The home was damaged in the 2008 flood.

Economic development adviser John Shepherd said the owner has agreed to sell the house. Once the commission owns the property, Shepherd said, conveyances will be placed prohibiting any building there.

Joyce has been a staff writer for The Times for more than 20 years. She covers the city and school district in Portage and surrounding areas.