Deciding on a design for the new Central

By Anna Carrera

Published 04/15 2014 04:47PM

Updated 04/15 2014 05:14PM

CHAMPAIGN -- Unit 4 School District leaders are trying to decide what all is needed as they plan for a new Central High School. The district bought 80 acres of land for the project, but it won't all be used for building the school.

The superintendent says school board members are looking at a lot of different options. They need to make sure they're space for the building itself.

District leaders also want to make sure there are a good-sized auditorium and stadium, plus practice fields for other athletic events. When people come to those events, they'll need somewhere to park, so that's another issue being considered.

Altogether, it should take up about 47 acres, which is just over half what the district bought. It leaves space for the school to grow. The new Central High School will be made for about 1,700 students.

In the future, Superintendent Judy Wiegand says other schools could be built on the site as well. So far, no other decisions have been made for what to do with the space.

District leaders around the state say consultants have encouraged them to find bigger pieces of land for new school projects. When people were thinking about building a new high school in Decatur, a consultant recommended 80 acres then as well.

The new Central High School will be much bigger than the old site and closer to others around Central Illinois. Champaign Central is currently built on 5.5 acres. Centennial takes up about 23. Danville High is more compact; just 18 acres. Decatur's Eisenhower is on 23 acres. The biggest was Normal Community with 80 acres.

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