SCHERERVILLE — With its host of stores and restaurants, Regionites regularly flock to Schererville for shopping and good eats.
Schererville's history of being a crossroads can be tracked to the days where Native Americans would travel the many trails that bled into the Sauk trail, a major east-to-west route.
Today, U.S. 30 and U.S. 41 in Schererville are laden with businesses, from Nordstrom's to the longstanding institution that is Teibel's Family Restaurant.
Schererville Town Manager Bob Volkmann said Schererville has a great location in the heart of Lake County and near the Illinois border.
"We have affordable housing, an excellent school system and you're close to shopping and entertainment," Volkmann said. "Plus the fact that the cost of living is much lower than Illinois is another big advantage. When people move here from Illinois, they say it's like getting a pay raise."
From theaters to foodie destinations, Volkmann said there's no shortage of attractions that draw people into town.
"My favorite thing about living in Schererville is that I never feel like I have to leave town," said Jim Goreman, director of operations for the town of Schererville. "You can go to the movies, eat and shop without ever leaving Schererville."
One unique piece of Schererville is the Tri-Town Safety Village, at 1350 Eagle Ridge Road, offers safety education in miniature town replicas where visitors can walk through. The latest addition is the Veterans Museum.
"It's a really neat addition to our town and a great way to get kids involved in the safety programs they run," Volkmann said.
Volkmann said many commercial projects, including medical and health centers, are underway for 2019.
Housing is also growing. In addition to the construction of the new subdivision on the west side of Schererville, the town is also in the planning stages of another new subdivision on the east side of town which, if approved, will begin construction this year.
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Another big project underway is the extension of the Pennsy Greenway which will extend the trail from Joliet Street to Main Street in Munster.
"It will connect the two towns, so I can start biking in Schererville and ride up to Three Floyd's (in Munster)," Volkmann said. "The extension will certainly be used by the end of the season."
John Novacich, superintendent of Schererville Parks and Recreation, has been with the town's parks department for about 30 years.
“We've tried to grow along with the growth of the town,” Novacich said. “When I started here, there were only eight parks and now there are 28 throughout Schererville.”
One renovation project on the horizon is improvements to the ball field complex at Rohrman Park, at 6750 Rohrman Road. By the fall sports season, Novavcich said they plan to have a new concessions building, new restroom facility and updated bleachers, field lighting and more.
The Pennsy Greenway and the Erie Lackawanna trails also offer miles of fitness possibilities.
“There are so many benefits to trail projects,” Novacich said. “People don't have to pay a membership to use them. All they have to do is get on their running shoes, roller blades or hop on their bikes to enjoy the outdoors and get exercise, whether they're trying to lose weight or improve their cardio.”
As spring approaches, Schererville's yearly stretch of festivals and events draws nearer. The annual Celebrate Schererville Festival in June and the movies in the park events at Peter G. Redar Memorial Park, 217 Gregory Street, are well-attended summer traditions, Novacich said.
“Community events are a great way for us to provide quality programs and bring the community together to enjoy the outdoors and some great entertainment,” Novacich said.
The green spaces in Schererville also serve to celebrate the arts. The annual Northwest Indiana Symphony Concert at Redar Park brings out crowds of music-lovers, Novacich said.
“We try to really promote the arts and bring a high quality music experience to our community,” Novacich said. “Every years there's a thousand people out there enjoying a nice summer day. Those are the little intangible benefits that really increase the quality of life for our residents."