Champaign board narrows Central list to 3, won't reveal sites yet
CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign school board will choose a final site for a new Central High School next week, but won't announce its narrowed list of three sites in the meantime.
The board met Monday night for a special meeting, and discussed narrowing its list in executive session.
School board President Laurie Bonnett said the decision not to announce Monday's narrowed list is a matter of negotiating a fair price on the land the school district will ultimately buy.
“We want to make sure we maintain a competitive bidding process,” she said. “ If we were to release our top three, that could hinder us in negotiating a fair price.”
The school board also heard some information from school attorney Tom Lockman about the general rules regarding putting a question on the ballot to ask taxpayers for a property tax increase to pay for a new Central High School.
For instance, school board members can only provide factual information to voters on the question while on school district property or in their capacity as official board members.
Same thing goes for district employees - they can't campaign for a property tax when they're on the school district's time.
If the school board wants to ask voters for the increase in the March 18 election, it would have to approve the question it plans to ask by Dec. 29. If it wants to put the question on the ballot Nov. 4 of next year, it would need to pass a resolution by next Aug. 17.
Bonnett said the board could discuss whether it will ask for a property tax increase next spring or next fall at next Monday's school board meeting, as well.