Update: 4:45 pm, 11/14/16, Monday
CHAMPAIGN — The school board is meeting for the first time since Election Day. Members are mapping out what’s next for the district after a referendum was finally approved.
It means they’ll discuss how soon construction could start. The district plans to use the money for renovation and expansions for six schools.
Work is planned for Central and Centennial high schools. Dr. Howard will be demolished and rebuilt. Monday night, they’ll move forward with those plans.
The school board president and superintendent are scheduled to speak. No word what the plans look like just yet.
The referendum passed for $183 million, but the total cost of construction is $208 million. The district is kicking in $25 million from reserves.
Original: 6:45 pm, 11/9/16, Wednesday
CHAMPAIGN — School board leaders are ready to move forward after a referendum was approved on Election Day. Members of the board already started meeting with the superintendent.
Next up will be a school board meeting Monday to start really digging into what comes next. The referendum will pay for $183 million worth of renovations to six different schools.
School board president Chris Kloeppel says they’re still probably months away from getting architects involved, but they could have some more solid plans to work with by next month. Kloeppel says the board has been incredibly happy with the support they saw at the polls.
“Tremendous thank you to the community, walking along with us through this process,” said Kloeppel. “Not just these past 18 months but really these last couple years.”
“Everything turns out the way it’s supposed to and I think this plan was really a culmination of so much collaboration and conversation that was really triggered by the previous two referendums,” said Stephanie Stuart, communications director for the district. “We really may not have arrived at that right plan had that not happened.”
Kloeppel says they’re excited to enjoy the big “yes” vote, but now they need to move forward since there’s a lot of work to do. Kloeppel says this is an especially happy time for him, as the dad of young daughters.
He’s proud they’ll have new and better opportunities when they grow up than they have today.
The Unit 4 vote had a pretty big lead early on Election night. It ended with 65% of voters approving it. This is the third time the school board has tried to pass a referendum in the last four years. There was no vocal opposition this time around, like previous votes.