Thank You to District Residents

Thank You to District Residents Who Attended School Board Work Session

The Independent School District 518 school board and administration would like to extend a thank you to all those who attended the school board work session and especially to those who shared their input during the open comment section of the session. This work session and public comment is just one item in a larger picture that the school board and administration are working to make more transparent and easier to access for all district residents.
The issues the district faces concerning student space and needed facility improvements is one that is not going to go away. District administration and the school board are recommitting to addressing these issues in responsible ways that are backed by our community. Part of the process of getting this support is being both transparent and accessible to District 518 residents. The school board work session with public comment was a step that was taken to forward these goals. As the school board moves ahead with a proposed solution to one or more issues facing the district, the public will be updated utilizing local news outlets, District 518 social media such as Facebook, and by postings to the District 518 website,
During the school board work session on March 11th, many ideas were discussed by district residents as well as by the school board and administration. Some of the options that were discussed by residents were pursuing another referendum, updating information on enrollment and space needs, looking into options other than new construction such as 

additions and remodels, private or business partnerships for construction, and terminating current contracts with consulting agencies and making new contract requirements more readily available to the public. These were several points of interested presented by district residents that came along with other information seeking requests such as length of current levies and plans for use of current facilities.
After the public comment section of the meeting was closed, the school board went on to discuss many of these same ideas. Some of the items which were discussed at length among school board members were a possible partnership with the city of Worthington for a portion of the city’s proposed new facility to be used for community education, the list of district facilities which need to be improved or repaired and their individual priority level, possibly requesting an updated enrollment study, pursuing another referendum and what that referendum would be requesting funds for, viability of additions to existing district facilities, and private and/or business sponsorships to support construction costs. Many of these items were given preliminary estimates for cost by ICS Consulting’s Pat Overom who was in attendance of the work session. These estimates were used in the discussion phase as a point of reference when comparing options and are not final estimated costs for those options. Mike Hoheisel of RW Baird in attendance and aided in providing frame of reference for current levies, information on debt wrapping for the district, and other financing information.
Independent School District 518 and the school board will continue to work diligently to determine the best community supported action available to address the current situation and plan for the future. This will be done in a manner that is the most accessible to district residents. ISD 518 would like to thank ICS Consulting and RW Baird for all the work they have done for the district throughout the process of addressing ISD 518’s space needs.
Comments on the confidence in the district’s educators and staff were a common theme through the public comments and are appreciated. Support for the school district remains high, though the issue of conflicting ideas on how to move forward remains. In future meetings, the school board will determine a course of action for ISD 518.