Referendum Update from Superintendent Wiegand

Sat, 01/10/2015 - 4:03pm

Dear Unit 4 Community:

Following the November referendum, the Administration and Board have looked at ways the proposed plan can best meet our facility needs and garner the support of a majority of voters. 

We have taken to heart the community and staff feedback we have received and the Board has worked diligently to create a new plan that encompasses this feedback and the values of our community. 

This coming Monday, January 12, the Board of Education will bring forward and vote on whether to place the following plan on the ballot in the April 7, 2015 election: 

Central High School – $94.5 million
Centennial High School –  $18.5 million
Dr. Howard – Approximately $15 million
Current Central High School - $16 million

Total=$144 million

Central High School would be located at the same site proposed in the November election and provide the same academic program. Cost savings for this project would come from removing Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment from the referendum cost and covering these expenses through our District’s operational budget. The plan also removes turf from the football field and includes this only as an alternate option should bids come in lower than expected.

Centennial High School would receive additions only in order to accommodate a student population of 1,700. New spaces would include Career & Technical education, new STEM labs, and additional classroom spaces. Renovations to the Centennial facility would take place with funds from the 1% sales tax when that becomes available in 2025.

Dr. Howard Elementary School would be added to the referendum and would receive a brand new 3-strand school facility on the current site. This new facility would be comparable to the recent elementary school construction and renovation projects and would better utilize the space available at the current school site.

The Existing Central High School would receive light renovation in order to accommodate the consolidation of the Mellon Administrative Center, Family Information Center, Novak Academy, the ACTIONS program, and the new Midwest Entrepreneurship Center. A new HVAC system will also be installed at this facility.  

We believe this plan meets our facility needs while lessening the burden on taxpayers, tackling more projects on the District’s master facility plan, addressing the immediate facility needs of Dr. Howard, creating a sustainable long-term plan for the current Central High School, and bringing down the District’s operational costs.

I understand you may have questions regarding this new plan. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions. 


Dr. Judy Wiegand