New plan for Spalding spares homes

New plan for Spalding spares homes

Phase 1 would develop park, Judah site only

CHAMPAIGN — The latest iteration of a plan to fit a new Central High School at Spalding Park shows a four-story school and parking deck built directly across Harris Street from Franklin Middle School.

Franklin would stay, and practice fields would be added in phases around the school under the option presented by architects at a neighborhood meeting Friday evening.

No homes would be demolished in the first phase of the plan, with all development in Spalding Park and on the current Judah Christian School property.

But a second phase would require the school district to acquire homes along both sides of Sherwood Terrace as they become available, as well as the commercial area at Prospect and Sherwood.

The plan would not require any homes along Harvard Street, which borders the south side of the site. Judah Christian School would be demolished. No time frame for the two phases was included.

Missing from the plan are competitive athletic fields. Those would be located at another site, possibly on property at Interstate Drive and Neil Street that was originally chosen for the new Central, said school district spokeswoman Stephanie Stuart.

"That's one option being discussed," she said.

The plan by Gorski Reifsteck/DLR Group was presented as one possible layout for a 1,700-student school. It's not final, Stuart said, "but it has all of the right spaces and the correct sizes and shows a school that would support all of the academic programs that would be necessary."

More than 80 Champaign residents attended Friday's meeting with the residents of the Spalding Park neighborhood, offering a range of options and ideas about the new site. Stuart said the district will compile comment cards and other feedback and provide it to the school board to consider in its final decision on a new Central site.

The first phase of construction would include a football practice field and tennis courts near the school, plus a soccer practice field and two baseball/softball practice fields on the former Judah site.

Two more practice fields and more tennis courts would be added in the second phase over time.

Another community meeting is scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Central High. All residents are invited to attend.

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Champaign Guest wrote on June 14, 2014 at 12:06 am

The headline "New plan for Spalding spares homes" implies, incorrectly to the best of my knowledge, that Unit 4 was considering a plan that didn't spare homes. They have repeatedly said they aren't looking to use eminent domain to acquire homes for building a high school: