School Town of Munster considers buying arts center • Northwest Indiana Business Magazine
School Town of Munster

School Town of Munster considers buying arts center

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School Town of Munster Superintendent Bret Heller said the district was “immediately intrigued” when it learned the Center for Visual and Performing Arts might be for sale.

The property is owned by the Community Foundation of Northwest Indiana Inc., which opened the 72,660-square-foot facility in 1989 to support cultural awareness in the Region, according to the CVPA website.

Heller said the district learned from community members that the property might be available.

“Given that the property is directly adjacent to our own, thus providing the potential to extend our existing footprint from Ridge Road to Fisher along Columbia Avenue by 7 acres, we were immediately intrigued by the opportunity,” he said.

The district's administrative offices are at 8616 Columbia Ave.

Heller also said the idea was presented to him with the intent to sell to a community organization rather than a developer to possibly keep the programming and tenants that call the building home.

The foundation is not offering comment on the issue.

“The fate of the building and its current programming and tenants stands as the primary concern, and currently, there are no definitive plans in place,” Heller said.

The CVPA is home to the Theatre at the Center, South Shore Arts, the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra and Trama Catering.

Heller said he proposed three scenarios during a recent board work session. They include:

  • The district acquires the property and leases space to the organizations that want to stay in the building.
  • The district acquires the property and renovates part of the building for office space, and retains current tenants and programs as space allows.
  • The district decides not to buy the property.

The school board's next meeting is April 8. An agenda had not been posted on the district's website as of March 21.


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