Voters could weigh in on Central

By Gary Brode |, Amanda Porterfield |

Published 07/24 2014 04:33PM

Updated 07/30 2014 01:21PM

Latest: 10:23 pm, 7/29/14, Tuesday
CHAMPAIGN -- The location of the new Central High School and its cost are now known. Construction for the new Central and renovations at Centennial will total $150 million; $98 million for Central and $52 million for Centennial.

It's $30 million more than originally planned. A big reason is 100 more students will be attending school than expected. The board votes August 11. If it passes, the referendum will be on the November ballot.

Dr. Howard Elementary will not be renovated because school officials didn't want to exceed the $150 million mark. The money will come from property taxes.
Latest: 6:50 am, 7/29/14, Tuesday
CHAMPAIGN -- Unit 4 school leaders are moving forward with plans to build the new Central High School. It looks like voters will have to approve millions of dollars in bonds to make it happen.

Technically, the district already purchased the site at Interstate Drive, but voters will have to weigh in to move forward. The board purchased the 80-acre site for about $3 million in January.

There's been a lot of debate following that decision. The board considered building at Spalding Park, but members met Monday night and confirmed plans to move forward with the Interstate Drive location.

Now, school board members are looking at a proposition for the November ballot. The district could ask voters whether or not to issue $150 million in bonds. $98 million would go toward the new school, while $52 million would go toward renovating Centennial High School.

The board still needs to vote and decide if this well be on the ballot. That will happen during the board's meeting, August 11. Then, it's up to voters.
Update: 10:03 pm, 7/24/14, Thursday
CHAMPAIGN -- After months of debate, it appears the Unit 4 School District has chosen Interstate Drive for the new Central High School. It eliminates other sites including Dodds and Spalding parks. A final vote is expected next month.

Leaders felt Dodds needed to stay the way it was and Spalding just didn't have enough space. The school board must also decide whether to put the referendum on the November ballot.
Original: 4:33 pm, 7/24/14, Thursday
CHAMPAIGN -- It appears the Unit 4 School District has found the site for the new Central High School. Dodds and Spalding parks have been eliminated as potential sites. Interstate Drive is expected to be approved as the site at next month's school board meeting. Leaders felt Dodds needed to stay as one of the city's staple parks and Spalding didn't have enough room to accommodate the needs of the new school.

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