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Column: District nearing end of addition project while planning for future

WORTHINGTON -- The end of first semester is approaching quickly with the upcoming winter break. This means that families will be enjoying the holiday season and kids awaiting the arrival of Santa. Likewise, the students and staff have been waitin...

WORTHINGTON - The end of first semester is approaching quickly with the upcoming winter break. This means that families will be enjoying the holiday season and kids awaiting the arrival of Santa. Likewise, the students and staff have been waiting for the arrival of the new addition and the ability to hold classes in this space. The completion of this project will happen over the winter break, and the plan is to start second semester classes in the new space.
A great deal needs to happen prior to occupancy of the new space, but we are hopeful that things will fall into place quickly in order to meet this timetable. An open house for this space will be scheduled for the end of January for the community to have the opportunity to view this new educational addition. This space will support the health, business and music programs. The actual date of the open house will be determined the beginning of January, so we hope that you will come to view the new space.
Along with this addition, the second phase of the district’s overall future plan is to address the long-term space needs for our student population. As the district continues to grow, space is becoming a valuable commodity. The district intends to propose a new high school facility as a part of the solution.
This facility, along with other possible needs, will be discussed during public input meetings in the months of January, February and March. These meetings will allow the community to help define what will be included as part of the project during the November 2016 bond election. The district will be looking to develop a specific plan for the priorities/needs that have been identified and potentially include collaborative partnership projects as a part of the overall planning.
A number of conversations have been started regarding the overall needs of the community through partnerships with entities such as the city, county, college, Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce and so on. The desire is that with these collaborative conversations the planning could include the overall needs of the community and to avoid duplication of efforts for a variety of needs or wants of the community. This planning will take a great deal of input from many entities and the public to ensure that the best plan is developed for serving students and the area.
This brings me to the last article I wrote in regard to what the legacy will be for this generation in providing educational space (facility and grounds) for the students as well as the opportunities in the community. We all would like to have a number of things available not only for ourselves, but for our children as well. In order to accomplish this it takes planning, input and commitment on the entire community to accomplish this task. Your participation in building a stronger region will ensure the continued growth not only of the students, but also the vast opportunities within the community. You all play a vital role in helping to develop a strong plan for District 518 and continued growth for the entire region.
The support that has been provided to District 518 has been truly appreciated and allowed for numerous educational opportunities for the students. We hope that you will choose to participate in upcoming activities so you can see first-hand all the wonderful things available to students that are provided by you. Thank you for all the support, and have a wonderful holiday season.

John Landgaard is superintendent of District 518.

Related Topics: EDUCATION
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