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Munster School Board hears proposals for multimillion-dollar maintenance, special education facility

Munster School Board hears proposals for multimillion-dollar maintenance, special education facility


MUNSTER — The School Town of Munster will hear two bids Thursday for a multimillion-dollar project housing technology, special education and maintenance facilities on land behind the district's Wilbur Wright Middle School.

The building is slated to be constructed at the site of the district's current maintenance facilities, and could use part, all or none of the current structure, Munster Superintendent Jeff Hendrix said.

The district's technical review committee will score two proposals for the project in a public meeting at 1 p.m. Thursday at the School Town of Munster Administration Center, and then the Munster School Board will meet publicly at 7 p.m Thursday at the Administration Center to consider the committee's recommendations on moving forward.

Hendrix said the district is looking spend about $4 million on the project and has given bidders flexibility in how to use the space behind Wilbur Wright.

The project will be funded through no new taxpayer dollars, Hendrix said. Instead, the district plans to pay for the new facility the through funds collected in the district's May 2017 construction referendum.

"I think it will be a great building," Hendrix said. "It's in the best interest of our students."

The district began advertising for requests for proposals in January and closed its bid window Monday. Bidders to be considered Thursday include Indianapolis-based design-build team Performances Services, as well as Indianapolis-based architects Lancer and Beebe working locally with CORE Construction.

The new space will serve as a central location for district IT services, which are currently spread between Munster's central office, service center and school buildings, Hendrix said. The building will also house a conference room for district-wide professional development use and will house some maintenance facilities.

Hendrix said the district will also offer its new adult transition program out of the new building for individuals ages 18 to 22 with special needs. The moves comes as Munster and Lake Central School Corp.'s partnership through the West Lake Special Education Cooperative comes to an end in June, Hendrix said.

Construction is expected to take place over the summer, the superintendent said, with a hope of opening new facilities in time for the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year.


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