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MUNSTER — The School Town of Munster signed a contract Monday night to move forward with plans for a new mixed-use facility behind the district's Wilbur Wright Middle School.

Performance Services, an Indianapolis-based design-build firm, was selected from two submitted proposals evaluated in a scoring process last month. The project, capped at $4 million, will house maintenance, technology and special education services in an approximately 25,000-square-foot building.

The project will make use of the footprint of the existing maintenance structure behind Wilbur Wright, and will add a two-story office building, complete with space for professional development, technology refurbishment and the district's continuing education program for 18- to 22-year-old students with special needs, Superintendent Jeff Hendrix said.

The project now moves into its first phase where  working with a leadership team of Munster technology, maintenance and special education stakeholders — Performance Services will refine its conceptual design.

The Munster School Board is expected to vote to approve a final design in about a month, after which construction will begin.

The new building is expected to be completed by the end of the calendar year. Hendrix said he hopes portions of the building housing special education services can be open in time for the start of the 2019-20 school year.

"We think Performance Services did an outstanding job," Hendrix said of the team's conceptual design. "We're just excited about the whole project. It's going to be a great addition for our students, teachers and staff."

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Education Reporter

Carley Lanich covers education in Lake County and throughout the Region. She comes to Northwest Indiana from Indianapolis and is an IU-Bloomington grad.