WORTHINGTON — Power outages during the mid-April ice storm, and again in late June, top the list of recent events that has Independent School District 518 considering a generator.

A high school generator would offer protection to the district’s server hub, explained technology director Amy Ernst during Tuesday’s Board of Education Operations Committee.

“Rolling power doesn’t work in the server world,” Ernst said, adding that it can take between two and four hours following being stripped of power to get things fired back up and running properly.

Staff and students struggled through a couple E(lectronic)-Learning days during April’s ice storm when servers weren’t functioning properly, Ernst said. When the servers were down, staff and students couldn’t access email. Teacher accessibility, by email or phone, is a requirement of E-Learning days.

The frequent power outages during April’s ice storm also caused a switch to blow, Ernst said.

Superintendent John Landgaard described a recent situation in which staff needed to locate contact information of a summer school student. Due to the June 26 unexpected power outage, that wasn’t easily accomplished.

A natural gas generator would keep the district’s servers operating and would power the technology office. It would also power air conditioning so the units won’t overheat. The two bids the district received are between $60,000 and $70,000.

Citing expensive server equipment and improved accessibility for E-Learning days, the operations committee will recommend the full board approve purchasing a generator.

They asked that Ernst get satisfaction referrals for the two options.

The operations committee is also going to recommend for full board approval the sale of approximately 3 acres of land on the southwest corner of its property along Crailsheim Road.

Two bids were submitted during the district’s second call for bids. The high bid was $17,250 per acre.

Two real estate agencies provided rough estimates of what the property may be worth, Landgaard said. Considering other property sold nearby, realtors guessed somewhere between $40,000 and $70,000 for the roughly three-acre parcel.

“Based on where it’s at, I think it’s a reasonable, fair price for them,” Landgaard said, adding that it may only be a single family dwelling and doesn’t have sewer access.

In other business:

  • The instructions and operations committees heard an update on the Welcome, Education, Library and Livability project along Second Avenue. Landgaard reported that the joint City of Worthington, District 518 and Nobles County Board of Commissioners committee is expected to meet next week and interview two architects that have applied to design the W.E.L.L. The expected result will be a recommendation from the joint committee for each entity to act on individually.

  • The operations committee will recommend extending the Nobles County Integration Collaborative’s lease with Minnesota West Community and Technical College. The recommendation is based on the board’s tentative plan to relocate community education to the W.E.L.L. location, which would eliminate the need for the NCIC to relocate more than once. The lease agreement with the college is free.

The board is expected to address these issues and more during its 5:15 p.m. July 16 meeting in the Worthington High School Multimedia Center.