Future of Unit 4 could be busting at the seams

By Anthony Antoine | aantoine@wcia.com

Published 02/10 2014 05:31PM

Updated 02/10 2014 06:17PM

CHAMPAIGN -- Classes in Unit 4 are overcrowded and a solution will come at a price. The Champaign School District will ask for a property tax increase in November. It needs to build a new facility or renovate space for future students.

The district hasn't decided how much is needed. Monday night, board members will review an audit which addresses upgrades needed for each school in the district. It will certainly play a part in what the increase would eventually be.

The district created a chart showing the high schools are already at capacity. In two years, all the schools will be overcrowded. In 2017, all schools will be packed so the district will eventually need to renovate or build new facilities.

In 2008, the 1% sales tax kicked in allowing the district to build a new school like Carrie Busey and renovate others like Bottenfield. It provided the district with more than $80 million for renovations the past four years.

Other measures being considered to ease overcrowding are portable trailers. Five schools in the district currently use them. Centennial will be added in the fall. It's not a permanent solution. The district leases the trailers.Some schools are already using trailers as classrooms.

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