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Potential Trojan Field updates identified during District 518 committee meetings

WORTHINGTON — The Independent School District 518 Board of Education is poised to officially approve a resolution calling for an Aug. 14 election during its regular meeting next week after further discussing the two-question ballot during Tuesday’s operations committee meeting.

The questions would ask district residents to approve a bond not to exceed $35 million for a grades 3-5 intermediate school and a bond not to exceed $4 million to be utilized for district athletic fields or facilities.

The $4 million proposal produced much discussion when the board hosted an April 27 work session to identify its intent for another referendum in an attempt to alleviate a growing space concern and facility improvements.

District 518 Superintendent John Landgaard clarified what the passage of a $4 million bond for athletic field improvements could achieve during Tuesday morning’s operations committee meeting.

“Long story short — it’s totally redoing that site,” Landgaard said of what’s being planned as a total site renovation of Trojan Field.

Included in the renovations:

  • Replacement of the track and bleachers.
  • Updating of the field would be updated, which may include synthetic turf. The field would continue to be used for both football and soccer, but would become a regulation-sized soccer field.
  • Replacement or renovation of the concession stand, ticket booth and field house.
  • Sidewalks would become Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant.
  • Unseen infrastructure would be updated.
  • The field would also boast new lighting, fencing and scoreboard.

The bathrooms, Landgaard said, would be about the only aspect of Trojan Field that would not need to be remodeled.

One of the biggest lingering questions remaining after the board’s work session last month was whether to invest in renovations at Trojan Field or build anew on the west edge of town on Crailsheim Road. Board members appeared to be split in their opinions, but the district’s intent to utilize the money to renovate the existing field appeared clear after Tuesday’s operations committee meeting.

However, the ballot question will not specify that the dollars will be used to renovate Trojan Field, which was advice from the district’s attorney, Landgaard said. Board and operations committee member Mike Harberts asked whether the omission of specificity would create conflicts with voters.

“I think that needs to be identified,” Harberts said.

Landgaard acknowledged that potential exists, and encouraged that all board members’ discussions with community members and district information identify the funding’s intent.

In other committee meeting business, Landgaard informed board members about an ALICE active shooter response training event that four or five District 518 employees will attend in Luverne next year.

ALICE — which stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate — is being widely adopted by school, government agencies and other places of business across the country in an effort to be better prepared to respond to crisis situations.

The Worthington Police Department will also send a couple of officers, Landgaard said.

“So we’ll work with them once we get back from the training and how we deal with those crisis situations that will hopefully never occur in this district,” he said. “We’ve had a variety of people asking how we’re doing things, and we want parents to understand we’re maintaining a safe environment for their children.”

Next week’s regular board of education meeting will be at 5:15 p.m. Tuesday in the High School Media Center.

Alyssa Sobotka

Alyssa joined The Globe in July 2017 and covers education and crime beats. The Nebraska native earned her bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. In her own sarcastic tone, her blog, Aimlessly Navigating, recounts the reality, pitfalls and triumphs of a young 20-something navigating to maturity. Follow her on Twitter: @alyssasobotka

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