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Valparaiso City Hall

Valparaiso City Hall

VALPARAISO — Gariup Construction, of Gary, has received the contract for the renovation of and addition to City Hall.

The Board of Works, during a special meeting last week, approved the contract for the base bid of $3,579,500 plus an alternate involving flooring. The total contract price is $3,587,000. Gariup submitted the lowest of four bids for the project.

Other base bids were from Gibson-Lewis LLC, of Mishawaka, for $3,990,000; Pangere Corp., of Gary, for $3,649,092 and Berglund Construction, of Chesterton, for $3,585,000.

The century-old building will undergo a $4.2 million renovation and expansion project beginning later this fall.

The City Council approved a $3 million bond issue to pay for the project. In addition to the bond, $700,000 from the riverboat fund and $500,000 from the cigarette tax fund will be used.

Just under 2,000 square feet will be added to the ground floor on the west side of the building. The one-story addition will house the council chambers, which will seat 100 people. The present council chambers will be refurbished into a new clerk-treasurer's office.

The lower level of the building will also be renovated and will house the engineers office, conference rooms and other offices and facilities. The building will be fully handicapped accessible once the transformation is completed, including the installation of an elevator.

The approximate 17,000-square-foot building served the city as a U.S. Post Office until the mid 1980s. It was purchase by the city, renovated and opened as City Hall in 1988. 

City Hall employees and services will be temporarily relocated to Hayes Leonard Elementary School, 653 Hayes Leonard Road, during the project. City Hall will be closed for business the week of Nov. 19 and services will reopen on Nov. 26 at the school.

City services will operate from a series of rooms on the rear of the building, near a parking lot. The temporary location is handicapped accessible and offers enough room to host public meetings.

The project is expected to be completed next year.

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Porter County Reporter

Joyce has been a reporter for nearly 40 years, including 23 years with The Times. She's a native of Merrillville, but has lived in Portage for 39 years. She covers municipal and school government in Porter County.