Unit 4 Board Proposes Referendum


Tue, 01/17/2006 - 1:12pm

The Champaign Unit 4 Board of Education called for a referendum of $65,940,000 to go before the voters on March 21 to build three new elementary schools and to renovate and improve existing elementary schools. Projects in the referendum include:

  • A new elementary school in North Champaign to meet requirements of the Consent Decree and for future growth,
  • A new elementary school in Savoy on donated land in Prairie Fields subdivision,
  • A new elementary school to replace Dr. Howard, which is approaching 100-years-old,
  • Addition of a gym/performing arts space at BTW, as well as similar improvements at Westview, Bottenfield, Carrie Busey, Garden Hills, Kenwood, Robeson and South Side,
  • Air conditioning for existing elementary schools and ceiling fans for all schools not receiving air conditioning,
  • Approximately $3 million dollars for identified safety and security improvements at all schools
  • Expansion of band and chorale spaces at Central High School
  • Purchase of 60 acres of land for a future high school

The proposed referendum will provide quality facilities for current and future elementary students, will meet the requirements of the Consent Decree, and will purchase the land for future secondary needs. Portable classrooms will be eliminated at all elementary schools. The cost of the referendum to the owner of a $150,000 home will be approximately $3.50 per month.

“A Citizens Facilities Committee spent several months analyzing data and debating priorities before recommending a proposal to the Administration and Board,” said Superintendent Arthur Culver. “Our facilities needs are great, and it was difficult for the Committee to prioritize and to create a package with a price tag that is manageable to our voters. Every member of the Committee is to be commended. They were never willing to settle for less than a high quality facilities plan that will address the needs of students for years to come, and they listened to the voices of the voters who want a detailed plan with strong accountability,” said Culver.

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