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Editorial: Fieldhouse funding boosts community

Beth rickers/daily globe The current fitness and athletic facilities at Minnesota West Community and Technical College, Worthington campus, will be renovated and expanded thanks to funding provided in the legislature's 2012 bonding bill.

While it's likely that many in and around Worthington were happy last week to learn about the Minnesota Legislature's passage of the new Minnesota Vikings stadium bill, that wasn't the only sports-related good news.

After several years of trying, Minnesota West Community and Technical College's Worthington campus finally got long-sought funding for a planned renovated and expanded fieldhouse. The campus will get $4.6 million as part of a state bonding bill of nearly $500 million approved by lawmakers last week and signed Friday by Gov. Mark Dayton.

Whatever the reasons for past delays in funding -- District 22 Sen. Doug Magnus said Friday that the project hadn't been a high enough Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) priority, and Minnesota West President Richard Shrubb recalled its last-minute rejection on other occasions -- it's time to celebrate now. The money will make possible improved athletics facilities in the 43-year-old building as well as remodeled and additional classroom space, among other amenities.

One doesn't have to utilize Worthington's Minnesota West campus or have kids attending the community college to appreciate a $4.6 million project. Thanks to the state's funding of the fieldhouse, the on-campus experience for students, staff and campus visitors alike will be markedly better, and should help promote positive word-of-mouth and subsequent growth. And a better college, of course, makes for a better and more attractive community.