Home News Andrean to remain and renovate Merrillville site

Andrean to remain and renovate Merrillville site

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The chatter around a potential move to the south by Andrean High School ended Monday with the school’s announcement it plans to stay put at 5959 Broadway in Merrillville and launch an expansion and renovation project.

Diocese of Gary Bishop Robert McClory and school Superintendent Colleen Brewer have endorsed a planning committee’s recommendation known as the “Andrean Initiative.”

Principal Jaycob Knazur shared the news with students and parents Monday.

The school has been studying a possible relocation to Crown Point on property at U.S. 231 and Interstate 65 near Franciscan Health Crown Point’s new $200 million hospital that opened in January.

In a letter to Andrean families and supporters, Knazur said after several years of silent campaigning and measuring benchmarks, a committee recommended the school invest in its current campus.

He said the key drivers were an assessment of the physical campus and needs for the future.

The committee studied perspectives, trends, trade-offs, programming, donor capacity and needs in the future for the school to live out its mission.

“The Andrean Initiative reflects a big dream,” Knazur said in the letter.

“With this more defined direction, there is excitement to move forward at our current campus to ensure students’ continued success but in a campus setting they have long deserved.”

Knazur reaffirmed the school’s commitment to work with the town of Merrillville, local universities, philanthropic organizations and its devoted alumni base.

Officials didn’t put a price tag on the project Monday. Brewer said the school’s next step is to hire a design firm to plot out its future improvements in a phased-in approach.

“We have completed an updated building audit, and we are almost finished with a building space assessment identifying the types of space requirements we hope to include in this plan,” she said.

In 2018, former Bishop Donald Hying said Andrean would remain in Merrillville as a study recommended.

In 2019, Andrean officials said the cost to upgrade the campus would exceed $30 million.

When Franciscan Health Crown Point announced plans for its new hospital in 2019, speculation ramped up that Andrean would also find a new home at the site.

School officials said the Franciscan Alliance verbally committed to setting aside a 60-acre parcel for a possible new home for Andrean.

But plans were put on hold when Hying departed and officials said plans could not go forward until a new bishop was appointed.

Andrean celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2019.

Carole Carlson is a freelance reporter for the Post-Tribune.



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