Champaign park board OKs sale of land to Unit 4 for $60,000

Champaign park board OKs sale of land to Unit 4 for $60,000

CHAMPAIGN — Unit 4 is getting the chunk of land it needs to keep renovations on track at Centennial High School and Tommy Stewart Field.

But it will come at a cost.

On Wednesday night, the Champaign Park District board officially accepted the school district's $60,000 offer for 1.004 acres of land adjacent to the Centennial parking lot. Unit 4 needs the land to construct a stormwater-detention basin to serve runoff from the renovated high school and field.

Park District Executive Director Joe DeLuce said the transaction, which comes in the form of an intergovernmental agreement, will close at the end of September.

"We're pleased that this is resolved, and Unit 4 can move forward with their plan," said park board President Craig Hays.

Unit 4 originally asked for an easement to build a stormwater-detention basin, enough to handle a 100-year storm event, on a site near the Centennial parking lot that straddles school and park district land.

But park commissioners expressed concern over liability issues associated with having the school's detention basin on park land.

With the two sides at odds, Champaign Mayor Deb Feinen asked them to work together for the good of the community.

According to DeLuce, he, park district attorney Guy Hall and Hays met with Unit 4 real-estate attorney Pat Fitzgerald on Aug. 15 to discuss a land swap for a field used by Unit 4 for band practices.

After that idea fell through, the park district received a new proposal a week later, this one involving a cash purchase.

"Basically, Unit 4 pulled the idea of trading the land before we had an opportunity to actually vote on it," DeLuce said. "The new proposal is we sell the land for $60,000 to Unit 4, and we would have access to the detention basin in the future."