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District 518 plans $428,094 WMS parking lot project, buys 2 vehicles

The school board also authorized Skog to purchase two used Suburbans — a 2019 vehicle for $41,977, and a 2020 model for $45,495.

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Worthington Middle School, winter 2022. Tim Middagh / The Globe
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WORTHINGTON — Bids to redo one-third of the parking lot at the Worthington Middle School came in lower than expected, the District 518 Board of Education learned Tuesday.

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“We received five bids, which was very nice,” said Dave Skog, director of operations for the district.

The board accepted the lowest bid, which was from Henning Construction, for $366,464 for the base bid, plus $61,630 for the alternative all-sand base.

“It’s about 28% below the engineer’s estimate, so they were very pleased with the way the bids came in,” Skog added.

Originally, the parking lot project — which will include adding drainage to pull water away from the lot and the building — was set to be a three-phase project. Given the lower-than-expected project cost, however, school officials will investigate whether a larger portion of the lot could be redone than initially planned, in order to pay less in the long run.

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Vehicles

The school board also authorized Skog to purchase two used Suburbans — a 2019 vehicle for $41,977, and a 2020 model for $45,495.

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“We are experiencing a growth in our special education students that require transportation, and we do not have enough vehicles,” Skog explained, noting that he had sent out a request to the local dealers for prices.

The two additional Suburbans would help the school catch up with its immediate needs, though Skog warned that a couple more vehicles will also “time out” in a year or so. Vehicles used to be usable 10 years from their manufacture, but because of a lack of availability, they can now be used for 12 years. Vehicles can also “time out” due to mileage, Skog said, but he hasn’t seen that happen for District 518 as yet.

School Board Member Tom Prins asked if they’d be able to get drivers for the vehicles, and Skog answered that typically, paras drive them.

“So far, we’ve been fortunate,” he added.

In other news, the board:

  • Certified the 2022 levy, payable in 2023, at $7.91 million, a decrease of 4.13% compared with the previous year’s levy.
  • Accepted donations from Sanford Health for athletic scholarships, from Sanford Worthington, United Prairie Bank, Nickle & Associates and Marco Technologies for the gymnastics video board, in memory of Vern Bastian for Worthington Middle School math and from Erin Schutte Wadzinski for Worthington High School student council and Toys for Tots.
  • Approved two employee requests for sick leave due to pregnancy and one for child care leave without pay, as well as an extension of child care leave without pay, an extension of medical leave and a leave of absence due to military service.
  • Approved the second reading of policies on public data and data subject requests, naming rights and credit cards, as well as the first reading of an update to the school meals policy.
  • Approved six student expulsions.
  • Approved a tax abatement for Galen and Sherry Benton through the Nobles Home Initiative.
  • Approved a resignation agreement with Bridget Smith, EL teacher at Prairie Elementary.
  • Approved a 2023-24 school calendar, though some details have yet to be finalized, including the elementary schools’ conferences and start dates. The calendar has school starting on Aug. 28 and ending on May 31.
  • Set the special school board reorganizational meeting for 7:30 a.m. Jan. 3 in the West building’s conference room.
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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