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CHAMPAIGN — Progress marches on for the Champaign school district's Central High School expansion, as board members approved opening up the project for bidding this Friday.

Capital-projects manager Mark Roessler gave board members a familiar refrain, saying the project — like others in the district's $183.4 million referendum lineup — had experienced "budget issues," forcing more re-evaluations of what is necessary for the project.

"Alternates," or options that the district would like included but aren't immediately necessary, include things like a performance wireless microphone for the theater, an in-ground lift for cars in shop class, and the option to turn the land at 617 W. Church St. into an addition to Central's main parking lot.

The budgeted amount for the expansion of Central was $87.1 million, which is where the project's total currently sits.

Bids for the project release Friday and come back to the district on March 21. O'Shea Builders representative Greg Doolin said bidders will be canvassed "within half a state away in all directions."

In other board news, members announced the departure of the district's director of communications and community relations, Emily Schmit. Board documents note the effective date of Schmit's resignation is Feb. 19.

The board also approved a number of expenses, including $40,109 for four months of legal fees from Franczek Radelet P.C., a Chicago-based law firm brought in during negotiations with the teachers union.