Year in Review: District 518's growth spurs construction

As its student population has grown, District 518's spaces needs have too, and building projects have begun to address the needs.

WORTHINGTON — With enrollment in District 518 increasing and projected to increase further, the district has embarked on a series of building projects designed to make room for all of its students. As such, 2021 has been a building year for Worthington schools.

The Intermediate School

The public voted to approve bonding funds for the Intermediate School in November 2019, and construction began in the summer of 2020.

The facility will serve the district's third- through fifth-grade students, and will help solve the space issues currently being experienced by Prairie Elementary and Worthington Middle School, with capacity for 900 students. About 700 students are expected to begin attending when it opens in fall 2022.

“I’m glad we finally got here,” said Brad Shaffer, a member of the District 518 Board of Education, during a tour of the building in October. “It’s been a long time coming.”

The 126,000-square-foot building will cost about $34 million.


Supply chain issues had been minimal, though some supplies had come in slower than initially expected.

As of December, the project appears to be on schedule, with much of the exterior work complete and the building enclosed, so that interior work can be done. Workers were making progress in putting in terrazzo flooring and painting the walls.

Trojan Field

Trojan Field was remodeled using turf, with new home and visitor bleachers and a scoreboard, in 2020, but the final touches for the project, including the completion of the track, concession area and inside portions of the field house, were made in 2021.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held to celebrate the completion of the project on Oct. 1.

The Community Education building

Planning for a new community education facility began in earnest in 2020, which will allow the programs to move out of its space in West Learning Center.

The new building will include space for adult basic education, early childhood/family education and the Nobles County Integration Collaborative.

Foundations were poured for the Community Education building and work had started underground with sanitary and storm sewer lines and water lines. Steel deliveries were scheduled for December too, and above-ground construction is likely to begin soon.

The Administration addition

The District 518 Board of Education voted on a $2.2 million addition to the district's administration building in December, to be paid for out of the district's facility maintenance and general funds. It will include a large conference room and a small conference room as well as office and storage space.


Construction on the addition could potentially begin some time next summer.

Other projects

District 518 also has a number of smaller projects in various phases, including a maintenance shed, plus the installation of new playground equipment for early childhood at Prairie Elementary.

Related Topics: EDUCATION
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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