The Duneland School Corporation is going ahead with its mission to transform
the former Instructional Materials Center on 5th St. into a new health and
wellness center for its employees.
The board gave its approval to seek construction bids for remodeling the
center as soon as the school corporation receives its variance from the
Chesterton Board of Zoning Appeals, which will presumably vote on the
variance request at its meeting this Thursday.
Assistant Superintendent Dave Pruis said the intent is for DSC to receive
bids on March 5 and March 12 and make a recommendation to the school board
at its following meeting March 14, all contingent on receiving the variance.
“We want to keep the process going,” he said. The latest floor plans were
submitted to the state last week to be reviewed.
Architect Bob Gerometta of Gerometta & Kinel Architects in Chesterton
displayed the remodeling plans for the 5,100 sq. ft. facility to the board
at its meeting last Thursday.
The center will be managed by NoviaCare Clinics and will be staffed by a
rotating physician, a nurse, an office worker, and occasionally a wellness
coach, Gerometta said.
The plans show two exam rooms, testing labs and supply rooms. A small
pharmacy will be available selling over-the-counter medicines.
The waiting area will accommodate three to four people at one time,
The parking lot will have DSC employees on one side and NoviaCare associates
on the other. Gerometta said the center will have a covered canopy.
Board President Mike Trout inquired about costs. Gerometta said he estimates
$190,000 with maybe some additional for parking and toilets. He said the
center is in need of repainting and upgrading of the water pipes in the
restroom which are “in pretty bad shape.”
Other school board members showed support for the project.
“It’s a nice use for that building,” board member Kristin Kroeger said.
Duneland Business Manager Bonnie Gaston said the center is “located well” in
a place where it won’t mix in with students.
Duneland could also add on 2,000 or more square feet of space for a physical
therapy center sometime in the future, Gerometta said.