District 518 board talks land purchaseThree seeking new school busing contract
By: Aaron Hagen, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — The District 518 school board went into closed session during a special meeting Friday morning to discuss the purchase of land for a new school building.
According to District 518 Superintendent John Landgaard, the department of education recommends 55 acres of land to build a new senior high school.
“They came out of closed session after talking about property and we did the ground work for what the options were basically, and potential examples of what some might be,” Landgaard said. “Based on that, they did pass a motion to give me authority to negotiate on what I’d term as property A. That was a split vote, so not unanimous. And likewise also they gave me authority to negotiate on property B, C and D.”
Before the meeting was closed, the board reviewed different scenarios for expansion to the district.
The first was a new high school at a new site. The total project cost for a new building would be between $43 -$44 million.
However, if the building was built within a certain area, there could be federal funding available. If a site was used within that area, the potential range of borrowing was reduced from $43 million to $36-$40 million.
Another option was to build a new intermediate (grades 3-5) school. The total cost would be approximately $37 million.
“If the school board went forward with the intermediate proposal, they would probably look at utilizing the property at Prairie to do that,” Landgaard said.
The meeting was closed to protect the negotiations.
“The reason they don’t want to share specifics is because it potentially hinders the negotiations of what we might come to terms on with a piece of property,” Landgaard said.
The board was also presented papers listed costs for new athletic facilities.
With a new football field, track, softball, baseball and soccer fields, the total came to $4.7 million. That also includes infrastructure costs such as parking lots and utilities.
Bus quotes opened
The quotes for the District 518 busing contract were opened Thursday.
“We’ll present it to the operations committee next week,” Landgaard said. “That would go to the school board for potential action the following week at the regular meeting.”
The next regular meeting is at 5:15 p.m. March 19.
“There were three quotes that were turned in,” Landgaard said.
One came from American Transportation, which is the current company. The others were from Bud’s Bus Service and Bruce and Donna Kempema.
After looking at them, Landgaard said American Transportation was the lowest quote.
“In preliminary review, that looks to be the lowest,” Landgaard said, while emphasizing no decision had been made. “A lot of it is getting to the bottom so you have a comparable apples-to-apples look to everything. It not an easy task.”
Daily Globe Community Content Coordinator Aaron Hagen may be reached at 376-7323.