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Collaboration between schools and YMCA attracts nationwide attention | Sand Dunes Community

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Chesterton — The collaboration between the new Duneland YMCA and Duneland School Corporation at the Chesterton Middle School building has received widespread attention.

The project is progressing well and preliminary design work will begin soon.

YMCA Executive Director Dave Casarda told the school board Monday night:

Already, the YMCA has received calls from counterparts across the country asking how the partnership with the school has been put together and how it is working, he said.

Casarda said leadership of the various groups involved in bringing the plan to fruition is emerging. About 80 people are waiting to join, not including members of the board of directors, he said. Kasarda is also seeking school participation in the group.

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“We are making great strides,” says Kasarda.

Wess Audsley, principal of the Allied Advisors Group, works with agencies to identify the space needed for a healthy campus. This includes finding out what programming ideas are and what programs should be placed near each other.

With all this information, Audsley hopes to complete a conceptual design by the end of the year.

The first quarter of next year will be a time to look more seriously at funding. Some are charitable, some are from government sources, some are from other sources.

“You have to understand how this works, the size and shape,” says Audsley. In the first quarter of 2023, we may have a more robust preliminary design than the conceptual design, but it is not the final design yet.

“This is a co-created initiative and we are all excited about what this opportunity has to offer,” he said.

The school board also heard an update on school construction across the district.

Skillman Construction’s Scott Cherry said additional field work at Liberty School would cost $78,179 due to Porter County’s building permit requirements. This work includes expansion of the reservoir to improve drainage for the community and the school itself.

In Westchester, the changing rooms are part of an interior demolition that has already begun. The steel frame for the structure will arrive within the next month, so we will start assembling the frame of the building.

At Liberty, demolition includes the media center, gym, and locker rooms. “We’re doing well with Liberty,” he says Cherry. Keeping utilities running on a construction site is a complex process with regular trips.

At Yost Elementary School, the excavation of the regulating pond continues. “We will be ready to start assembling in the next few weeks,” Cherry said.

The board also agreed to an additional $69,100 to ensure that temperature controls throughout the district are all the same for consistency. The board also decided to spend his $61,000 on luxury vinyl tiles for flooring.

A fifth School Resources Officer has been authorized under a Memorandum of Understanding with the Chesterton Police Department. The Officer will allow the Elementary School to meet with the Resource Officer as well.

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