Referendum Information - November 8, 2016
The Unit 4 Board of Education has voted to place a question on the November 8, 2016 ballot that will ask voters to approve $183.4 million in school facilities funding. If approved, the District will utilize $25 million in fund balance to accomplish $208.4 million in repairs and improvements to Unit 4 schools.
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WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE REFERENDUM?
Central High School - $87.1 Million
- Maintain current school site in core of community.
- Construct three-story classroom addition following selective demolition of Northwest wing of the building to accommodate growing enrollment and eliminate portable classrooms.
- Renovate and repair existing infrastructure, including building-wide air conditioning, new windows, and updated security systems.
- Modernize classrooms, auditorium, cafeteria, music, arts, and renovate existing Career & Technical Education spaces.
- Purchase properties to double site size.
- Expand gym space and construct on-site fields for student participation in PE, athletics, and band.
Centennial High School - $63.3 Million
- Renovate and repair existing infrastructure, including HVAC, windows, and security systems.
- Modernize all classrooms, music, arts, as well as common spaces such as the auditorium and cafeteria.
- Construct Career & Technical Education spaces.
- Expand gym space to accommodate larger student enrollment.
- Expand school to accommodate growing enrollment and eliminate portable classrooms.
- Renovate and refurbish on-site fields for physical education, athletics, and band.
- Continued use of Tommy Stewart field for Friday night football games by both high schools.
Edison Middle School - $15 Million
- Exterior Upgrades
- Accessibility enclosures and upgrades
- HLS upgrades
- Classroom renovations
- Cafeteria and gymnasium replacement
- HVAC system upgrades
- Higher efficiency systems
International Prep Academy - $6 Million
- Build an addition, modernize classrooms and common spaces, update infrastructure, and address safety issues.
Dr. Howard Elementary School - $16.1 Million
- Demolish the existing structure and construct a new school on the current school site.
South Side Elementary School - $11.1 Million
- Build an addition, modernize classrooms and common spaces, update infrastructure, address accessibility and safety issues.
Central High School Fields at South Side - $6.2 Million
- Competition track & field/JV football (turf)
- Practice football (sod)
- Support building (restrooms, lockers, concessions, and storage)
- Additional parking
Central High School Fields at Franklin/Spalding - $3.6 Million
- Competition baseball (sod)
- Practice baseball (sod)
- Additional tennis courts
- Dugouts, concessions, restrooms, bleacher
Voters residing within Unit 4 will be asked to indicate "yes" or "no" to the following question:
Shall the Board of Education of Champaign Community Unit School District Number 4, Champaign County, Illinois, alter, repair and equip the Central High School Building, build and equip additions thereto, and acquire and improve the site thereof; improve facilities at Franklin Middle School, Spalding Park, and McKinley Field; alter, repair and equip the Centennial High School Building and build and equip additions thereto; demolish the existing Dr. Howard Elementary School Building and build and equip a new Dr. Howard Elementary School Building on that site; alter, repair and equip the South Side Elementary School Building and build and equip an addition thereto; alter, repair and equip the International Prep Academy Building and build and equip additions thereto; alter, repair and equip the Edison Middle School Building and build and equip an addition thereto; and issue bonds of said School District to the amount of $183,400,000 for the purpose of paying costs thereof?
Projects included in the referendum are the renovation and expansion of Champaign Central High School, Centennial High School, Edison Middle School, International Prep Academy, South Side Elementary School, and the reconstruction of Dr. Howard Elementary School on its current site.
The Board will also begin the process of establishing a staff and community-led oversight committee upon the passage of the referendum to ensure taxpayer dollars are used as promised by the Board of Education. An exploratory committee will also be formed to vet options for fundraising to support certain aspects of the construction.
The projects brought forward were identified and analyzed by a committee of key community stakeholders called the Tier Two Committee for Facility Planning that aimed to assess the District’s facility needs and formulate a long-range plan to address those needs.
Information on these planning efforts and the referendum can be found at facilityplanning.champaignschools.org.
Community members may register to vote at the Champaign County Clerk’s Office or by completing the online application.https://ova.elections.il.gov/
Collaborative Planning Process
This year, the Board of Education formed a Special Board Committee to provide recommendations on a long term facility plan. This committee consisted of two tiers. Tier One consisted of faculty and staff from the District. The charge of this committee was to identify need for capacity and programming at the elementary, middle and high school levels.
Tier Two consisted of representatives from elected bodies of local government, the business community, and at large community members. The charge of the Tier Two Committee was to review recommendations from Tier One, and based on this information provide recommendations to the Board of Education in the following areas: location of facilities, collaborations/partnerships with other public entities in the Champaign Unit #4 District, and finance/referendum schedule.