CHAMPAIGN — The Champaign school board approved buying two parcels of land, at a total cost of $625,000, in order to expand its transportation department.
The properties are at 801 Pioneer St. and 806 Dennison Drive, C. The board approved the purchases at its Monday meeting.
The properties are west of Hagan Street and south of Bloomington Road. The district's current property is across Hagan to the east.
The district is buying the properties with money from working-cash bonds it issued last winter and still has money set aside for renovations.
The district plans to use the existing buildings on the properties, said attorney Tommy Lockman, and district staff members will work there.
The district expects to close on the purchases April 1 of next year, but could close sooner, depending on how quickly the business currently there moves to its new facility, according to board documents.
A business called LS Building Products listed the Pioneer Street address as its Champaign location on its website. It is a distributor of wholesale specialty building products.
Board member Lynn Stuckey said she walked around the buildings recently, and said she's pleased with the purchase and its price.
"I think it's going to be a significant improvement," she said.
Also Monday, the board heard an updated preliminary budget from Executive Director of Business Services Matt Foster, who told the board as of right now, he's expecting about a $630,000 surplus in the fund from which the district pays faculty and support staff salaries. However, the district is still negotiating contracts with the unions that represent its teachers and support staff.
The school board is expected to approve a final budget at its next meeting, scheduled for Sept. 23.
It also approved hiring Renayee Westfield as assistant principal at Franklin Middle School. Westfield was previously a teacher at Bottenfield Elementary.