Neighbors challenge Unit 4 plans

CHAMPAIGN -- Some neighbors are concerned with the Unit 4 School District buying a home near them.

The school board says it doesn't have a clear vision of what it would be used or yet, but it's near Dr. Howard Elementary, which is one of the schools the district would like to rebuild.

The neighborhood has been around nearly 100 years. Most don't want to see it change. They say, if the district buys one property, it could change the area they live in.

Monday night, the board voted specifically to buy a house in the 1200-block of West Park Avenue. Several residents voiced concerns including the fact the district is uncertain what the property would be used for.

Some say the home brings back memories from when they were growing up.

Previously, the district has planned to tear down Dr. Howard and build a school worth more than $16 million in the same location. No plans have been designed yet; the district is looking for an architect.

Unit 4 has eight total projects it would like to complete with money from the recently passed $183 million referendum.

The next step is to meet with those living near Dr. Howard about the purchase. The board also voted to buy four other homes near Central High School to use the space for renovations to the school.


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