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District 518 building projects are mainly on track

“People are really enjoying the extra space and it’s making for a much better environment and attitude.”

West Learning Center, formerly known as West Elementary, as seen on Friday, Aug. 19, 2022, currently houses a number of District 518 programs, most of which will move to the Community Education building now under construction when it is complete.
West Learning Center, formerly known as West Elementary, as seen on Friday, Aug. 19, 2022, currently houses a number of District 518 programs, most of which will move to the Community Education building now under construction when it is complete.
Kari Lucin / The Globe
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WORTHINGTON — Most of the school’s building projects are moving right along, with a few exceptions, Director of Operations Dave Skog told the District 518 Board of Education’s Operations Committee Tuesday morning.

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Two larger items still need to be installed at the Intermediate School, for example.

“We’re still missing two sets of stair treads. We’ve been chasing those around since school started,” said Skog, noting that the school should get them next week and they might be installed over MEA weekend. “The other big issue is the folding wall by the gymnasium.”

The large folding door into the gym will likely be added next summer, as it would require closing the gymnasium for three to four weeks.

Other than that, the school is operating well.

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“People are really enjoying the extra space and it’s making for a much better environment and attitude,” said Superintendent John Landgaard. “I can’t tell you how many comments I’ve heard from the staff.”

At the Learning Center, a persistent water issue has prompted contractors to decide to replace the doors on some rooftop units, which should happen soon.

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Paving is complete at the Community Education building, and playground equipment was installed there too; contractors will begin working on the terrazzo floor in sections this week. The target date for the building’s completion is the end of the year.

District 518 received a permit for its storage shed last week, Skog said. The permit was delayed as the contractor made a suggestion that would save the district a significant amount of money.

Renovation and additions to the administrative building are going slower than expected, though most of the new addition’s interior framing is done.

Asbestos abatement for West Learning Center will likely take about a month, Landgaard said, and the school board still needs to decide what to do with the property it sits on. That will likely be discussed at a special meeting in November.

In other news Tuesday, the committee:

  • Received a facilities plan from the Southwest West Central Service Cooperative, which serves some special education students District 518 cannot serve appropriately within its facilities. Nine District 518 students are bussed to SWWC’s location in Windom and one is bussed to Pipestone. Landgaard and the committee discussed whether there was a possibility that a SWWC facility could be placed in Worthington in the future.
  • Discussed a legacy wall at Trojan Field that will recognize donors with the purchase of bricks or pavers. Money given will go toward extracurricular activities, and the wall will be largely funded by a donor.
  • Heard about the potential renewal of the Nobles Home Initiative program, which gives tax abatements to people building new homes and is set to expire at the end of 2022 if not renewed.
  • Agreed the district should have a public data request policy in place. A draft policy will likely go before the full board in November.
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.

Email: klucin@dglobe.com
Phone: (507) 376-7319
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