WORTHINGTON — As District 518 student began to trickle back into the halls of school buildings in the new year, they also started using the newly completed addition to the high school.

The second-floor wing is the new home of social studies classes, explained Dave Skog, District 518's director of business management. It comprises six classrooms, plus a small seventh one that will likely be used for special education.

As students reach the landing via the stairwell or elevator, they will also notice a bonus room to their right. Three of its sides are windows, letting in lots of natural light. This room is currently set up with tables and chairs, and is versatile enough to act as an additional classroom, or as a conference or meeting room.

The 11,000-square-foot space — including all educational rooms, hallway, lockers and restrooms — is designed to allow students to spread out, to reduce hallway congestion and to accommodate future student body growth. The district spent more than $3.5 million on the project.

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Construction began June 1 and ran about six months, finishing just in time to welcome students into the space as they returned to the building after winter break.

The next step, Skog noted, is to fill the new rooms as COVID restrictions ease and more students can be in school at the same time.