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District 518 hosting public hearing Tuesday

WORTHINGTON -- District 518 has scheduled a public hearing at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Worthington High School band room to present several building options that seek to provide an answer to its overcrowded facilities.

WORTHINGTON - District 518 has scheduled a public hearing at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Worthington High School band room to present several building options that seek to provide an answer to its overcrowded facilities.

 

District 518 Superintendent John Landgaard said he will share information gathered from the several public hearings that have been taken place over the last couple of months, as well as results of a recent telephone survey.  

 

Attendees will be hear about four building proposals by ICS Consulting Inc., which were presented during the District 518 Board of Education work session on March 27. A fifth proposal will be brought by ICS after several school board members requested an individual cost breakdown on adding space to the three district buildings.  

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“That would be the presentation piece and then, at that point, we would look to have a conversation and gather input and thoughts on what they think we should add to the master plan,” Landgaard said. “Of course, this is only possible if there are people there to be engaged and providing input.”

 

Two of the options to be presented Tuesday show the estimated cost of building a new high school, while the other two detail the approximate cost of adding space to current buildings along with construction of a new intermediate school or middle school.

 

The proposals’ costs range from $65,801,013, to $77,142,419.

 

Landgaard said previous meetings have been helpful in gathering public opinion, but he’s more optimistic about the upcoming hearing since the public will be able to give more specific input than in the past.

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“The difference with this and the other listening sessions is that this one has actually options available to us, so people will be able to say ‘I like option A or B,’” Landgaard said. “So people will be able to be more specific on, ‘I like this option, but I don’t like the total cost, is there a way to reduce it?”’

 

He noted there has been more participation from the community regarding district facilities needs, but those voicing their opinions seem to come from a specific sector and not the community as a whole.

 

“I hope a lot of people show up and are willing to become engage and speak what they believe is the correct way to support our students,” Landgaard said. “The board’s job is to represent the community, but (it’s hard) when it’s only a few voices speaking. … That doesn’t represent the voice of the whole community.”

 

Following the meeting, Landgard said he hopes school board members will have the necessary information to start laying out a plan to address the overcrowding.  

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“After this meeting we would go back with the input and trying to develop a new master plan,” Landgaard said. “(The master plan) would be, ‘This is what we believe is the right way to go, and this would be the option we are going to go with.’”

 

Landgaard noted that the board will soon need to start discussing how it will be addressing other district issues - more specifically some athletics facilities.

 

“We would start defining how we are going to accomplish those and so it would be the immediate (solutions), and then we would start looking to the long-term needs,” Landgaard said.  “Because those things are still out there, we still need to deal with those things.”

Related Topics: EDUCATION
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