Champaign school board to vote tonight on middle school improvements using working cash bond money

CHAMPAIGN - The Champaign school board will have a special meeting tonight  and may vote on school improvements that would use money from a working cash bond issue.

The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. today at the Mellon Administrative Center, 703 S. New St., C.

You can see the agenda on the school district's BoardDocs website.

The school board may approve a $9.6 million contract with Control Technology Solutions to install new geothermal systems and windows at Franklin and Jefferson Middle Schools, as well as new lighting systems at those schools, as well as Edison Middle School and Central High School.

Those improvements will be made using about $9,004,000 from working cash bonds.

The contract would also include new window air conditioners for Edison Middle School, but those will be paid for with money from the school facilities sales tax. That project will cost about $597,000.

The school board approved Control Technology Solutions as its energy performance contractor in January.

The school board's agenda for tonight's meeting indicates that several of the projects can be completed this summer, including the window air conditioners at Edison and the geothermal system and new windows at Jefferson. The wells for Franklin's geothermal system may be dug this fall, which means its geothermal system and installation of new windows would happen next summer.

The working cash bond issue has been controversial recently.

More than 2,300 residents signed petitions asking the school board to put the bond issue on the November ballot, but many school board members maintain that while it's a tough decision to issue the bonds, it's best for the school district's students.

The school board voted in February to issue up to $14.5 million in working cash bonds; if it issues that much, it would raise property taxes about $25 for the owner of a $150,000 house.

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aantulov wrote on October 14, 2012 at 7:10 am

Energy costs do detract from the budget, but I hope they find money since it so inexpensive compared to monitors to update their I..D. system.


Never before has data management and instant identification card making computerized machines been so effective and inexpensive. The are proven effective tools to simplify complex issues of safety and finance. Yet each middle and high school Champaign still are unable to provide cards in a timely matter rendering the entire effort ineffective. Each semester instead of week where one does not “have to have a card”, the period has been up to two months. That’s two months, face to face issues of who gets subsidized breakfast, lunch, libraries access, services in general, admittance to events, in fact officials have no way on insuring that bullies from other schools are on not their premises besides diligent guess work. And teens experience doubt and chaos in what should be a smooth interaction, damaging their self esteem and faith in those in authority.


These archaic methods may have worked well in the past when the school demographic was constant, but this community has been getting the indigent from big cities daily. As more enter, anyone who can leave the public schools does. Dedicated teachers and school officials have been operating as best the can with what they have been given.


This community has also been getting “developers” arriving on private jets building apartments to collect steady “section 8” rents. And, building skyscrapers with luxuries with DECADES long tax breaks. This is why your property taxes are going up, and services down.


Since money is the only solution to this problem, please let me point out that having school kids carry a card with pride in the picture has infinite marketing to get kids to shop in certain stores, and brand familiarity. Certainly looking at “Coca Cola” or “JC Penny” every day has an affect.


Could one of the millionaires passing thru town give us back a small portion of the tax dollars they have not paid by providing each middle and high school with a state of the art identification system? Does not one feel it a good idea to have the statement “Buy made in USA” on the back of every card used daily by the next generations?