Champaign school board member MacAdam steps down

Champaign school board member MacAdam steps down

CHAMPAIGN — A member of the Champaign school board has resigned for issues related to heart problems.

Champaign school board president Laurie Bonnett read a letter at Monday night's meeting in which Scott MacAdam announced he was stepping down because of health issues. He had just been elected to the school board last April.

"My resignation comes after a good deal of thought," he wrote. "This comes at a very challenging time, given all the work by our board. I fully support the current efforts and the decisions of the board in its process concerning the new high school and related issues."

"Speaking for the board, we wish him the best of luck, and wish him well," Bonnett said. "He brought with him a wealth of knowledge. He really focused on the finances for us, and we are going to miss that expertise."

Bonnett said the school district will begin the process of finding and appointing a replacement. The board has 45 days to fill the position, Superintendent Judy Wiegand said. If nobody is selected by that time, the Regional Office of Education would fill the position.

Those interested in serving should contact board secretary Ileana Saveley.

In other business:

— The board did not unveil its pick for the site of the proposed new Champaign Central High School but did hear why one contender — the Country Fair shopping center area — didn't make the final cut.

Unit 4 Executive Director of Business Services Matt Foster reported that the shopping center offered only 32.39 acres of available land — much less than the 47 acres needed.

The site, he added, is not expandable, has no access for traffic on the north side, and would require utility upgrades.

Maybe most importantly, the property is not for sale, Foster noted. Trying to acquire it could be an expensive, and likely lengthy, process. He estimated the land alone could cost $11 million. Plus, the district would need to spend an additional $3 million to $4 million — or more — for demolition of the buildings and environmental remediation for possible hazardous materials.

"Personally, I would like to put this to rest and move forward," Bonnett said.

— The board is considering adopting a new policy on teen dating violence. District attorney Tom Lockman said a law passed last year by the Illinois General Assembly requires it.

Lockman said the policy would cover teen dating violence that takes place on school property and/or during school-sponsored events. Employees would be required to report these incidents and staff members would have to get training on the subject.

The board is scheduled to vote on the proposed policy at its February meeting, according to Unit 4 spokeswoman Stephanie Stuart.

— The board voted 6-0 to ask the state to approve a five-year waiver to the school calendar allowing district personnel two full-day professional development days a year.

"It seems to make a lot of sense for a lot of reasons," Bonnett said.

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45solte wrote on January 14, 2014 at 8:01 am

So, given that Country Fair is knocked out in large part by price, would Mr. Foster please tell the public how much the estimated annual transportation costs will be for the 3 sites under consideration north of I-74? The board could not possibly choose a final site without that significant repetitive cost figured into the equation. Sometimes paying more up-front saves in the long-run. Also, is north of I-74 really in the spirit of the now-lifted consent decree? Accessibility and equity issues come to mind. Who gets to go to the new school? Will determination be made by lottery or boundaries? If the latter, does that raise equity issues for those not able to attend the latest and greatest educational facility? It's nice that Ms. Bonnet would like to put Country Fair to rest, but, is she representing the public in her desire to do so? With a little foreplanning, very costly aspects of district history issues can remain at rest. Think about lowering those acreage requirements unless Unit 4 is willing to go to no-cut teams so all students have the opportunity to access these costly programs and alleged benefits paid for by taxpayers. Common Core State Standards related costs are going to sucker punch taxpayers pretty soon. Academics vs. sports. Something to consider re: priorties against a backdrop of  difficult economic times for the foreseeable future.

prp wrote on January 14, 2014 at 9:01 am

Putting it at country fair would have put the high school less than one mile away from Centennial.  How on earth does that make any sense?

The school needs to be placed where Champaign will grow.   Like it or not, that is the area north of 74.   They need to envision what Chamaign will look like 30 years from now when they make this decision.

45solte wrote on January 19, 2014 at 8:01 am

The proximity of the two could have had potential implications for shared athletic facilities.

cjwinla wrote on January 14, 2014 at 11:01 am

 

My My 45sote, a grump morning to you too. The "cost" of the Country Fair site which is not for sale exeeds $15 mil all in estimated. The other sites are in the $3-$5 mil range. It is in the public's interest to move on, Countryfair is not viable.

The answer to your question on the transportation issues of the sites north of I74 can be found at the citizen4blog@wordpress.com  . Sometimes a little less huffing and puffing and a little more homework/due diligence can be a lot more productive . Of course thats assuming productive dialogue is your goal.

The study basically found the transportation burden to the final four sites is esentially equal to the transportation burden of reaching Centennial . I have never seen more complaining about an extra 6-10 minute drive to get to a brand new modern techonolgy equipped high school !   Have you become that spoiled and petulent ?  Geez Louise the best things in life require just a little bit more work. Whats 10 minutes if you have one of the best high school facilities in the State of Illinois ? Really?  Get a grip !

sacrophyte wrote on January 14, 2014 at 1:01 pm

Correction, the blog is http://thecitizen4blog.wordpress.com/. But I appreciate the reference. :)

 

The original documents that you refer to are actually found on the Unit 4 FutureFacilities website; one is called "Central Site Evaluation – September 4, 2013" (I recommend this one) and the other is "Regional Planning Commission Presentation – December 2, 2013".

 

-- charles schultz

45solte wrote on January 19, 2014 at 8:01 am

cjwinla wrote: ' I have never seen more complaining about an extra 6-10 minute drive to get to a brand new modern techonolgy equipped high school !   Have you become that spoiled and petulent ?  Geez Louise the best things in life require just a little bit more work. Whats 10 minutes if you have one of the best high school facilities in the State of Illinois ? Really?  Get a grip !'


I am a taxpayer without kids in Unit 4, so you might want to walk back the 'spoiled and petulant' stuff.

45solte wrote on January 19, 2014 at 8:01 am

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