Cost estimate, concept drawings and floor plans presented for District 518 office, storage building projects

Some school board members voiced concerns about the storage building, and one said he was frustrated 'with the lack of information that’s being shared by our administration.'

Concept Art for an Addition to the District Office, presented by Wold and ICS to the District 518 Board of Education on Feb. 15, 2022.
Concept Art for an Addition to the District Office, presented by Wold and ICS to the District 518 Board of Education on Feb. 15, 2022.
Submitted image

WORTHINGTON — Architects presented plans for proposed addition to and renovation of the district office building Tuesday at the District 518 Board of Education meeting, including floor plans and concept renderings.

According to the presentation by Sal Bagley, an architect with Wold, and Chris Ziemer, a project director with ICS, the projected cost estimate for the 4,524 square foot addition and 2,943 square foot remodel would be $2.24 million.

The presentation showed the project as originally approved — with a 2,400 square foot addition and a 2,500 square foot remodel — to have an estimated cost of $1.5 million.

The current layout includes a large conference room and a small conference room, both accessible from the waiting room, as well as offices for human resources, food service, operations, payroll and accounting, the superintendent, teaching and learning, special education and student services. There are also two offices and a work station set aside for the future, as District 518’s projections indicate the district population will continue to grow.

Bagley said the building interior would use mostly neutral materials, with the exception of the elements designed to reflect the school’s colors and branding, such as a red and black wall in the waiting room near the entry.


The project could go out for bidding in March and be completed by summer 2023.

Storage building

Bagley and Ziemer also showed the school board plans for a storage building, originally set at 2,500 square feet and later expanded to 4,000. With the initial smaller scope, the cost had been estimated at $425,450, but according to the presenters, had risen to $981,500 in January before being updated again to $857,250 this month.

The fluctuation in cost prompted comments from two school board members.

Tom Prins said an earlier quote had been $733,000 and wanted to know where the additional costs came from.

Ziemer responded that the construction cost had actually decreased from the $981,500 estimate from January, that the facility had changed over time, and that architects had received additional input from local contractors to get a more accurate estimate.

After the presentation had ended and the meeting was drawing to a close, board member Mike Harberts spoke.

“I’m going to voice my frustration here tonight (in) regards to the lack of information that the board gets shared with them,” he said, stating that he’d never even seen the $981,500 figure. “I’m voicing my frustration with the lack of information that’s being shared by our administration.”


Prins asked if the bids would automatically be sent out for the storage building, and Chair Lori Dudley said the school board would not have to accept those bids.

Prins asked if research had been done with local contractors, and Dave Skog, director of management services for the district, said that ICS had made contacts with local contractors and believed they had the best cost estimate now.

“There has been contact with local contractors, I know that for a fact,” said Joel Lorenz, school board member. “The locals will have their chance to bid.”

Dudley said she hoped the bids, which would likely go out the same day for both projects, would be competitive and drive the prices down.

In other news Tuesday, the school board:

  • Listened to a presentation about the Worthington Middle School’s efforts to improve the overall social, emotional, and behavioral well-being of its students, which impact student performance. This school year, each WMS grade level has a counselor, and next year one of the counseling positions will move to the Intermediate School, which prompted some discussion on the possibility of adding another WMS counselor to the roster.
  • Approved the retirements of Tom Woods, Prairie Elementary teacher, and Paula Stock, WMS teacher, as well as the resignations of Than Kyaw, parent liaison with Community Education; Karen Omot, WMS teacher; Sue Hagen, EL coordinator with Teaching and Learning; Austin Selvey, WMS softball coach; Ranita Coleman, WMS paraprofessional; Leah Perez De Torres, Learning Center paraprofessional; Emily Ahlquist, girls head soccer coach; and Danielle Crowell, Prairie Elementary teacher.
  • Approved the employment of Sheila Olson, WMS cook; Mercy Flores Menjivar, childcare assistant with Community Education; Brooke Van Ede, WMS paraprofessional; Austin Selvey, WMS baseball coach; and Jessica DeKam, WMS teacher.
  • Accepted a grant from the Minnesota State Social Workers Association for WHS Student Services, as well as donations from the Worthington Gun Club for ammunition for the WHS trapshooting team; the Brandl Foundation for track scholarships; an anonymous donation for the boys' soccer student activity account, and from the Eagles Club for the WHS marching band’s trip to Cuero, Texas.
  • Approved a $10,100 maintenance and scheduling agreement with the city of Worthington for three baseball fields on WMS property.
  • Approved a student expulsion.
  • Approved the advertisement of bids for the Prairie Elementary roof project and the WMS parking lot project, both of which are routine long-term facilities maintenance.
  • Approved an employee request for an extended leave of absence.
  • Agreed to restructure the school’s golf program into a seventh through 12th grade program with a head coach and assistant coach for both boys and girls.
  • Approved an out-of-state travel request pending staff development committee and administrative approval for a conference in March at Wisconsin Dells.

A 1999 graduate of Jackson County Central and a 2003 graduate of Augsburg College, Kari Lucin started writing for newspapers in Minnesota and North Dakota in 2006. During her time as a reporter, she covered beats including education, watershed, county and agriculture, and frequently wrote about health and science. She has also served as an online content coordinator and an engagement specialist at various Forum Communications properties. She was a marketing assistant at Iowa Lakes Community College in Estherville for two years, where she did design work in addition to writing and social media management.

Lucin is currently a community editor with the Globe of Worthington.

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