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District 518 OKs $3 million land purchase for planned new high school

WORTHINGTON -- The District 518 school board approved Tuesday the purchase of 157 acres of land to construct a proposed high school. The property, located along the west side of North Crailsheim Road, was purchased from Walter and Norman Vogt for...

WORTHINGTON - The District 518 school board approved Tuesday the purchase of 157 acres of land to construct a proposed high school.
The property, located along the west side of North Crailsheim Road, was purchased from Walter and Norman Vogt for $3 million at $19,108 per acre.
Over the last year, school board member Joel Lorenz negotiated on behalf of the board for the acquisition of the property.
“The board believes that it is an excellent location,” Lorenz said. “It is convenient for our transportation system and gives the district opportunities to expand the school or its sports facilities in the future.”
“Mr. Lorenz has gone above and beyond his duties as board member to get this completed,” said school board member Steve Schnieder.
The appraisal was completed by a contractor hired by the former owners of the property. The contractor had previously worked with the county and city to appraise property.
The board also approved a request for bids to surface the playgrounds at Prairie Elementary. Three playgrounds at the school are fenced off because the flooring is unsafe for the students.
The district is interested in installing crumb rubber, Director of Management Services Dave Skog said.
“We can’t wait until the warranty comes through,” said Skog, adding that the playgrounds need to be functional for use.
In other businesses, the board:
* Approved the addition of eight staff positions. The district will add three full-time jobs to Prairie Elementary, which include second grade, third grade and elementary counseling positions. The middle school will have an additional counseling position, as well as a post designed to prevent teachers from being overloaded. The high school will add an English language teacher and math teacher, and the community education department will also receive an additional parent educator.
* Approved of summer school transportation costs of approximately $34,241.
“One of the big concerns for parents (at a graduation ceremony) were a lack of reliable transportation during the summer,” said school board member Linden Olson.
The district expects summer school enrollments to increase by 120 students from last year and projects a total of 750 students.
* Approved to purchase Schoology, a cloud-based software system that helps teachers create and share course material, for $16,000.
* Approved of the 2016-17 school calendar. The first day of school for grades 5-12 will be Sept. 6; for kindergarten-grade 4, Sept. 7.
* Approved of an out-of-state travel request for Jodi Hansen and Tucker Besel. They will attend Chemistry Modeling Instruction Training from June 13-24 in Wheaton, Ill..
* Approved adding a custodial position at Prairie Elementary.

Related Topics: EDUCATION
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