There are many words that wind up being associated with major government projects. Most of them are not fit for print in this space.
Phrases like "under budget" and "ahead of schedule" are rarely uttered, unless another word, "never" is used in front of them.
So, it's noteworthy — and in this case, I think, column-worthy — to point out the raging success that has been the Michigan City Police Department project. Some may read this and cringe, assuring themselves that a columnist at a local paper has the power to jinx such proceedings. But here's something you need to know about me: I think that's nonsense. Also, feel free to talk to me about a no-hitter while the game is still going.
Setting all that aside, it's difficult not to be totally impressed with every aspect of the new MCPD building on Michigan Boulevard at the site of the former Eastport Elementary School.
The much-needed facility came with a hefty price tag, and some in the community have complained that the money involved was more than it should have been. The time for arguing about that is in the past. What I'll say, though, is that if you commit such a large amount of money (around $13 million) to a project like this, you want it to be done right.
Everyone involved with this project deserves a huge pat on the pack. From engineering firm American Structurepoint to general contractor Larson-Danielson, and anyone else who has had a hand in the construction process, this has been an absolute home run for Michigan City.
First, the building looks great. The design that we were shown more than a year ago has been beautifully executed.
Second, the project is well ahead of schedule. When the groundbreaking was held in June of 2015, it was estimated that the process would take 16 months and that MCPD would move into its long-awaited new facility in October of 2016. During Tuesday's City Council meeting, MCPD Chief Mark Swistek announced that the project is 90 percent complete, and that his staff will begin moving in during the first part of August, at least two months ahead of schedule.
Third, believe it or not, it appears to be under budget. Swistek said that money from the budget will be used to help cover the costs of the adjacent Cleveland Playground project, details of which have also been recently unveiled.
I've always said, paraphrasing comedian Chris Rock's great bit on the subject, that people shouldn't be lauded for doing stuff that they're supposed to do. For instance, you don't give a guy credit for doing dad stuff with their kids because, well, that's what they're supposed to do. I know I don't like getting credit for stuff like that.
However, these types of projects with large budgets and a lot of moving parts are incredibly complicated. For things to move along so smoothly to this point is impressive and worthy of praise.
If we're going to (rightly) criticize these types of projects when things go wrong, then it's acceptable to applaud when they go incredibly well.
Congrats to everyone on a job (so far) well done.
Contact Managing Editor Adam Parkhouse at email@example.com or 1-219-214-4170