Grant applied for despite park's uncertain future

By Anna Carrera

Published 06/26 2014 05:40PM

Updated 06/26 2014 06:21PM

CHAMPAIGN -- The Champaign Park District is applying for a grant to improve Spalding Park, but there could be a problem with the plan. It's one of two sites the Unit 4 School District is considering to build the new Central High School.

Last we heard, school district leaders say Spalding Park is a less popular option than Interstate Drive, but it's still on the table. Park leaders say they're applying for the $400,000 state grant anyway since the deadline is July 1.

The money would go toward improving the park as a whole, including giving the skate-park a facelift and expanding it. Thursday, leaders met with a designer and some skateboarders to hear ideas on how to use the money.

Park planner, Andrew Weiss, says "Getting input from skateboarders, this culture changes constantly, so we want to keep up with what we can provide the community."

The park district won't find out if it gets the grant until next spring, but executive director, Joe DeLuce says, if the school district decides to build there, they'd go back to the state to talk about other options for the money. DeLuce says he'd also consider approaching the school district about keeping a skate-park next to the high school.

School board members plan to decide on Central's final location by August.

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