Champaign considers new Judah school site

CHAMPAIGN — City council members this week could approve the layout of the new Judah Christian School campus on the western edge of the city.

If they approve, the new school on Rising Road just north of Kirby Avenue would be built in three phases. The athletic fields — one of the primary motivators for the project — would go in first, and students would start using those fields while Judah Christian continues to operate its current facility on North Prospect Avenue.

The city council is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Champaign City Building, 102 N. Neil St.

The new high school would be built later, and the last phase of the project would include construction of the elementary and middle school portions of the new campus, according to city documents. School officials say they need to expand but are landlocked at their 908 N. Prospect Ave. location.

The new campus will be built on 50 acres of land that was originally slated to be part of an 80-acre residential subdivision. The residential developer built homes on 30 acres — now the Jacob's Landing subdivision — and sold the remainder of the property to the school.

The city council nearly defeated Judah Christian's proposal in 2011. Council opponents of the relocation, at the time, said the plan would limit the city's tax base. The school would sit on land where 120 residential lots had been planned, and Judah Christian, as a not-for-profit organization, does not pay property taxes.

Some council members worried that a new school on the fringe of the city would extend already-stretched police and fire service too far.

The city council reconsidered its denial at the pleading of the school and approved of the move a week after the original "no" vote.

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parkmymeterelsewhere wrote on April 15, 2013 at 11:04 am

Although council members are well aware of prior attempts by Judah to build new facilities, the public should be reminded EVERY DAY of the travesty which occured at the northeast corner of I-74 and Lincoln avenue.  There sits a 75-acre field unused, trashed, wasted farm production because the GOAD LADY would not allow them to build because of tax purposes.  Meanwhile-the current owner dumps unwanted fill dirt impregnated with garbage.  This is what will happen to the Olympian Drive development just north of this site; tax dollars wasted on Urbana's warped idea of "development".

The city of Champaign would do well to approve this project regardless of the tax exemption.

ilpatriot wrote on April 15, 2013 at 7:04 pm

I agree with you about this site. This was once productive farmland. It was purchased by Cross Construction (Salmon family) and offered to Judah Christian. I have a friend who lives on the Southest corner of said property and I told her that no way would Urbana allow a tax exempt entity onsite before it even hit the papers.

http://www.news-gazette.com/news/education/2008-07-23/urbana-impedes-jud...

rsp wrote on April 16, 2013 at 12:04 am

They say they want to build where they can have athletic fields, and if they used North Lincoln the kids would be playing on ground that is full of contaminants. Considering everything that goes on around there it would be better to develop it that to just dump garbage on it. But it probably isn't right for a school. 

Marti Wilkinson wrote on April 15, 2013 at 4:04 pm

In fairness to the Champaign City Council, they don't have any say on what happens with Lincoln Avenue. That would be a matter to take up with the Urbana council.

My daughter attended Judah while in high school, and she received her diploma from the school. The traffic on Prospect Ave has always been a challenge to navigate during both the beginning and the end of the school day. Moving to a new location will help alleviate the congestion that is seen there.

Since the land is not going to be used for residential lots, there really is no reason for council members to object. Plus, it may end up being an enticement for parents to purchase homes in nearby subdivisions. Many savvy salespeople that I have worked with understand that if you lose a dollar in one area, you can sometimes make up the difference and find gains in another.

 

parkmymeterelsewhere wrote on April 15, 2013 at 6:04 pm

WRONG!! the city of champaign is a legally- joined partner in the olympian overpass--on the west side of the tracks--and has signed the intergovernmental agreement to contribute tax dollars to this insane project.  I urge all taxpayers in Champaign County to go to this link:  http://www.icc.illinois.gov/docket/Documents.aspx?no=T11-0134

This is where your tax dollars have gone!!  tens of thousands of dollars wasted on legal fees for nothing more than the closure of fertile farmland.

Marti Wilkinson wrote on April 15, 2013 at 7:04 pm

The link you provided pertains to court action that was filed by Champaign, Urbana, Champaign County, and the underlying municipal locations. The respondent is the Illinois Department of Traffic and Central Illinois Railroad.

Personally, I don't agree with displacing farmland that is being used, just to extend Olympian drive. That being said, information that is better understood by a layperson such as myself is provided by this link.

http://urbanaillinois.us/posts/2010/08/olympian-drive-extension-project-...

Many people have rallied against the proposed development, and both Champaign and Urbana have chosen to go through with this, even though objections have been raised.

The issue in regards to Judah is somewhat separate. Previous attempts to build in Urbana fell through, and Judah has had to look elsewhere.

The only time I venture on to Olympian Drive is when I'm craving Dairy Queen, and the one at the gas station is within easy driving distance from my home. The attempts at development really appear to have fallen flat, and I don't see Urbana generating a lot of business by extending Olympian drive any further.


 

ilpatriot wrote on April 15, 2013 at 7:04 pm

Did the City raise Cain when St. Thomas Moore located on north Mattis?

parkmymeterelsewhere wrote on April 16, 2013 at 3:04 pm

Glad to hear someone stating their non-approval of the North Lncoln/Judah-Olympian developments.

The  city of Urbana website is entirely propagandist.  There are no documents to prove all the environmental approvals were thoroughly completed--just a "going through the motions" say-so by the proponent's web page and false updates by the proponents does not even tell 10% of the facts that are being swept under the rug.  To get back to the similarly-related case of the original Judah site;  I beleve the contaminant fill dirt was not present until after Judah was denied to build at that site.  At any rate--we need more voices to be heard on these subjects; the voter/taxpayer is guilty of not doing enough of both while we are being drug through the mud  by self-serving local governmental bodies.

ilpatriot wrote on April 15, 2013 at 7:04 pm

If we want to talk about the Olympian Drive folly take a look. Clearview west of Mattis and Olypmian has.... last time I checked has 0 projects. At a cost to taxpayers of millions of dollars.

http://www.news-gazette.com/news/politics-and-government/2007-01-17/cham...

 

parkmymeterelsewhere wrote on April 16, 2013 at 3:04 pm

We have here three seemingly unrelated development sites:

The original and now-revised Judah Christian site

The Olympian site

The clear view site

Isn't it obvious that the local govermnental perception of these proposed developments is extremely poor?  Blind annexation, wasted tax dollars,  grandoise schemes to desperately latch onto federal and state dollars.

The only one that really is a necessity is the Judah project.  And they don't even need a roundabout!