District 518 studies possible middle school expansionWORTHINGTON — The District 518 Board of Education approved a contract with McKinstry to investigate and provide cost estimates for a possible expansion or remodeling of Worthington Middle School.
By: Kari Lucin, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — The District 518 Board of Education approved a contract with McKinstry to investigate and provide cost estimates for a possible expansion or remodeling of Worthington Middle School.
The board has not committed to the project and is seeking specific information to bring to the public before it decides whether to move forward with the roughly $3.4 million expansion.
“We need to have some discussion with the community about what we’re going to do and why we’re going to consider these things, so they don’t feel like this is something we’re forcing on them,” said board member Linden Olson. “We’ve got good reasons for a number of the projects, but we need to gauge the community’s feelings…”
Olson was initially hesitant to approve the professional services contract with McKinstry, a consultant firm specializing in building functionality and assessment, because the board has not made a decision on the possible remodeling or expansion of the middle school.
“A professional services contract will give us better data to make these decisions later on,” said board member Bob Jirele. “They’ll give us designs and ideas to talk about, with some better data.”
The vote to approve the McKinstry contract was unanimous. The board plans to set a date for a public meeting on the possibility of expansion soon, after it receives more information.
The board also approved contracts for salary and benefit increases for 10 positions for the 2009-2010 school year and in some cases, for one to two additional school years.
The community education director will receive a 2.8 percent total increase in salary and benefits.
The food service director will receive a 2.54 percent increase in salary and benefits the first year, 2.66 percent the second year and 2.59 percent the third year.
The Area Learning Center coordinator will receive a 2.88 percent total increase in salary and benefits.
The Special Programs director will receive a 2.7 percent total increase in salary and benefits the first year, 2.71 percent the second year and 2.69 percent the third year.
The attendance officer will receive a 2.67 percent total increase in salary and benefits.
The district translators will receive a 2.77 percent total increase in salary and benefits the first year and 2.48 percent the second year.
The district technology director will receive a 2.79 percent total increase in salary and benefits the first year and 2.82 percent the second year.
Food service workers will receive a 3.09 percent increase in salary and benefits the first year, 2.38 percent the second year and 2.57 percent the third year.
Parent liaisons will receive a 2.72 percent increase in salary and benefits.
The unlicensed coordinator will receive a 2.62 percent increase in salary and benefits.
In other news Tuesday, the board:
- Renamed the old West Elementary School to West Learning Center.
- Approved the second reading of the district’s policy for student acceleration to higher level athletic activities. It was changed to clarify one paragraph relating specifically to ninth grade hockey.
The policy is generally not to accelerate students from middle school to high school athletics, but allows for acceptions for students who are physically and emotionally mature as well as athletically gifted. The policy also lays out the procedural steps for acceleration.
- Reminded the public of the district’s garage sale from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. today and Thursday at the WMS storage building near the old tennis courts. Desks, shop equipment, musical equipment and other items will be for sale.
- Approved the Subfinder contract with CRS Advanced Technology for $6,124.60.
- Approved the substitute teacher pay rate of $95 a day.
- Approved the Nobles County Integration Collaborative lease agreement for $9,300.
- Approved the first reading of the district’s policy for family and medical leave. It was changed to comply with new state laws.
- Accepted donations for the AOK Club from Wal-Mart, for summer meals programs from Hunger Solutions, for Area Learning Center career enrichment from the Southwest Minnesota Private Industry Council, and for Prairie Elementary from LifeTouch Photo Company.
- Approved the release of employment for Dawn Grim, speech/language pathologist with special programs, Ken Henkels as varsity football coach, Joan Schafer as Even Start teacher with community education, and Heidi Fritz as fifth grade teacher at Prairie Elementary.
- Approved the employment of Juliann FitzSimmons as developmental adapted physical education teacher at Worthington Middle School, Matt Fletcher as physical education/health teacher at WMS, Cayleen Mackey as kindergarten teacher at Prairie Elementary, Ken Henkels as head boys and girls cross country coach, Doug Brands as co-head coach of boys and girls track, Barb Degroot as head cook at Worthington High School, Mildred Hamblin as dishwasher at Prairie Elementary, and Marlene Mueller as cook at WMS for five hours a day.
The board also approved two employees’ sick leave due to pregnancy, as well as child care leave for one of the two employees.