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Board steps toward tennis court project

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news Worthington, 56187

Worthington Minnesota 300 11th Street / P.O. Box 639 56187

WORTHINGTON -- The District 518 Board of Education took the first step toward replacement of the district's dilapidated tennis courts on Tuesday, unanimously making a commitment to move forward with the project.

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"The tennis courts at this point are in poor condition; some are parking lots," explained Superintendent John Landgaard.

Student tennis players currently use courts at Minnesota West Community and Technical College.

The current plan, presented to the board's operations committee earlier this month, is to install eight tennis courts, complete with lights, restrooms, a storage building and concession stand, for an estimated cost of $800,000.

Both the city and the district will be asked to contribute between $250,000 and $300,000 toward the project. Mike Marquardt, the head tennis coach at the high school who has been spearheading the project for several years, hopes to fill in funding gaps through a grant from the U.S. Tennis Association. Such a grant could provide architectural services for the project.

"It'd be great for our kids and community. Potentially our district could host tournaments and things that we can't do at this point," Landgaard said.

"To me, it seems we could do this with one-third funding," added council member Linden Olson. "We could look at a partnership with grants, plus one-third from the city and one-third form the school."

Board members would like to see the courts built at Prairie Elementary or the middle school so students could also use them for physical education, but no decision on the site has been made. Nor has any entity named a number in terms of financial commitment.

The project will be presented to the Worthington City Council on Monday.

In other business, the board:

* Approved resignation of Josh Miller as assistant girls' hockey coach with Worthington High School.

* Approved employment of Brittany Workman as after school programs secretary with Community Education/ALC Targeted Services; Randi Mimick as assistant dance team coach at WHS; Jenny Braa as assistant girls' hockey coach at WHS; Rosemary Loveless as long-term substitute teacher at Worthington Middle School; and Tessa Dierks as National Honor Society advisor at WHS. Approved the addition of two full-time-equivalent paraprofessional positions at WHS.

* Approved the tentative 2010-2011 seniority lists and the 2010-2011 Enrollment Report. District enrollment has increased by 273 students since the 2003-2004 school year.

* Approved a request by the Spirit of Worthington Trojan Marching Band to take a trip to Chicago for the Thanksgiving Day parade in 2011.

* Decided to move forward with the recommissioning recommendations at Prairie Elementary for an estimated cost of $261,250; authorized administration to explore funding sources. Performance contractor McKinstry made the recommendations for better energy efficiency as part of a slew of improvements that included updates to all district buildings and an addition to the middle school.

* Approved a change to the Tri-County Day Treatment Center joint powers agreement that would change the facility's name to Red Rock Learning Center.

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