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District 518 commits $2 million to WELL project

WORTHINGTON -- The WELL (Welcome, Education, Learning and Livability) collaborative project received another piece to its puzzle during Tuesday night's District 518 Board of Education meeting.

WORTHINGTON - The WELL (Welcome, Education, Learning and Livability) collaborative project received another piece to its puzzle during Tuesday night’s District 518 Board of Education meeting.

The board approved committing up to $2 million to the project through June 2020. The project - which is slated to house its community education and adult programs as well as the Nobles County library - has also received $2 million in local commitments from the city of Worthington and Nobles County. The project was submitted for consideration for a Minnesota Legislature bonding bill, which, if approved, is anticipated to cover approximately half of the $31.4 million estimated project cost.

The commitments are meant to show the legislature that there is a local stake and support for the project, and are not intended to be spent without supplemental funding from the legislature.

Tuesday night’s approval did not come with unanimous support, as board member Mike Harberts cast the lone no vote. Two community-based groups that provided input regarding a facility space action plan also voiced their opposition, arguing that the district should focus its time, effort and funds to alleviating K-12 space issues.

However, Board Chair Lori Dudley noted that the district’s education obligation spans beyond the 12th grade. Board member Linden Olson agreed.

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“This does solve some of our space problems, particularly that of getting out of West (Learning Center), and it saves a sizeable amount of money than if we had to build a similar-sized building on our own,” Olson said. “We just cannot, in my opinion, keep pushing it off year to year.”  

 

For more of this story, see Saturday's print edition and dglobe.com.

 

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