Officials break ground on Purdue Extension building in Crown Point

By: Bill Dolan, The Times

May 27, 2016

CROWN POINT — Lake County officials broke ground Thursday afternoon for the new offices for the Purdue Extension and Soil and Water Conservation agencies.

Lake County Commissioner Gerry Scheub, D-Crown Point, and Councilman Eldon Strong, R-Crown Point, were among a group who took part in a celebration of the project on the front green of the Lake County Government Center at 93rd and Main Street, Crown Point.

Commissioners earlier this month awarded Gariup Construction of Gary a $2.8 million contract to build new the offices. Officials hope to open the new complex at the end of this year.

The agricultural agencies now lease space at 880 E. 99th Court in Merrillville’s Ameriplex. The county has spent $1 million for a 10-year lease at Ameriplex, now set expire in 2017.

Commissioners also plan to sell the remaining acres fronting Main Street (Ind. 55) to a developer for private offices and retail business space to will help offset the cost of the Purdue building..

Last year, county officials had said they would build the Purdue Extension and Soil, Water and Conservation office on 10-acre cornfield east of 91st and Chase Street, but shifted it to 93rd and Main to save the cost of another parking lot. Purdue visitors would use the existing parking lot serving the Lake County Government Center administration building.

The green space was originally earmarked for future expansion of the government center that opened in Crown Point 40 years ago. It has served residents who come to pay taxes, get vaccine shots, visit the county jail or be hailed into court on a criminal or civil matter.

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