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.