Cost breakdown for Champaign high school work on way

Cost breakdown for Champaign high school work on way

CHAMPAIGN — If you're wondering what $150 million will buy for Champaign's two high schools, you can find out Monday night.

Questions? We'll answer them here

School district officials say they will present a breakdown of the costs for construction of a new Central High School and renovation of Centennial High School at Monday night's school board meeting, when they'll also approve the final wording for a Nov. 4 ballot question asking voters to approve money for the projects.

A tentative resolution reviewed in late July called for up to $150 million. Administrators said the total includes $98 million to build a new Central at Interstate Drive and Neil Street, plus $52 million to renovate Centennial.

School officials initially offered to share more details about those costs this week, but Superintendent Judy Wiegand said Tuesday they would wait to present the information at Monday's meeting.

"(A)ny questions can be addressed at that time," Wiegand said in an email to The News-Gazette. She said district residents with questions in the meantime can contact her, community relations coordinator Stephanie Stuart or board President Laurie Bonnett.

Stuart said officials are still refining the numbers.

"The district really wants to present all of the information in the context of all of the work that's taken place to arrive at this point," Stuart said.

"We would hate to share something that's preliminary that would confuse the issue on Monday," she said. "This is such an important issue."

School board member John Bambenek said a 15- to 20-minute presentation is planned that should answer most questions.

"I think it's just a situation of making sure that it's right, that there's no errors, and going over it to make sure there's no confusion," he said.

"This is a big ask. A lot of this process has caused some unnecessary confusion. We want to be sure that we have the most accurate picture we paint when we present this to the public."

What if questions are raised about the costs after the final amount for the referendum is approved?

Bambenek said the district doesn't have to spend the full $150 million, even if voters approve that amount. A successful referendum would merely allow borrowing up to that amount, he said.

"That number is not a spending target," but an estimate, Bambenek said, adding that he will be looking for ways to cut costs. "There's nothing to say we need to max out the credit card if we can get the job done for less."

Sections (2):News, Local
Tags (1):2014 election

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rsp wrote on August 07, 2014 at 11:08 am

And an unsuccessful one? Just do it over and over till it passes?

Cuthbert J. Twillie wrote on August 07, 2014 at 2:08 pm

The district really wants to present all of the information in the context of all of the work that's taken place to arrive at this point," Stuart said.

"We would hate to share something that's preliminary that would confuse the issue on Monday," she said. "This is such an important issue."

Uh pretty much everyone, and I believe the board is as well, is confused at this point.

This started as a Central new building plan.  When did Centennial, which has had FAR greater facilities for 50 yrs over Central, get added to the plan?

 

This board has confused everyone to the point that its a big NO .....

 

aleking wrote on August 07, 2014 at 6:08 pm

Bambenek said the district doesn't have to spend the full $150 million, even if voters approve that amount. "A successful referendum would merely allow borrowing up to that amount", he said.

Since when has any government entity, when given a spending limit, not taken the opportunity to spend the full amount?

When the voters are given an opportunity I encourage them all to vote this referendum down.