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Questions? Email Nicole Lafond at nlafond@news-gazette.com

CHAMPAIGN — Construction on Central High School could begin as soon as March 2018.

On Monday evening, the school board reviewed a draft schedule for the eight projects that will be funded through Unit 4's $183.4 million referendum that passed in November.

The projects will be staggered and separated into different phases: programming, design, a design-and-construction overlap phase and a construction phase.

"Some staggering of projects will need to occur essentially to allow for the most competitive bidding environment as we try to maximize the length to which district dollars will go," Chief Financial and Legal Officer Tom Lockman said.

Building the athletic facilities at Spalding Park will begin first, with collaboration on the design of the fields, between the school district and the Champaign Park District, starting this May. Construction will begin next spring, and the facilities will be complete by fall 2018.

Central will be in a design-and-construction overlap phase from March 2018 to March 2019. This is largely due to the fact that there will be a considerable amount of site development that has to take place at the high school to prepare for the expansions, including the removal of several buildings surrounding the school, Lockman said. The $87.1 million renovation and expansion at Central is estimated to be complete by September 2022, according to the draft schedule.

Design planning for the new Dr. Howard Elementary School will begin this spring, with construction set to begin in fall of 2018. That $16.1 million project — which will include the demolition of the current elementary school — is set to be complete by April 2020.

Design for the $63.3 million renovation of Centennial High School will start this summer, too, around the same time as Central. Construction will start after the first of the year in 2019. The school will be finished about the same time as Central in 2022.

McKinley Fields redevelopment will be complete by fall 2019, with design set to begin next May.

Construction at South Side Elementary School will come next, with the $11.1 million upgrade and addition set to start in the summer of 2019 and finish by September 2021. There will be an eight-month break in building between September 2020 and April 2021.

Design for Edison Middle School's $15 million renovation will start in the spring of 2018, with construction beginning in the fall of 2019. There will be a five-month construction break from December 2020 to May 2021, and the project will be complete by October 2021.

The $6 million renovation of the International Prep Academy will begin construction in May 2021, with plans to finish updates by the end of December that year.