Next steps in Facility Planning

From Stephanie Stuart:

master_facility_plan_oneAt Monday’s meeting, the Champaign Board of Education heard an update from Gorski Reifsteck/DLR Group about the high school programming work that will be taking place in the coming weeks and months, and discussed a draft Master Facilities Plan for the District as a whole.


Champaign-based Gorski Reifsteck and the nationally-renowned DLR Group were hired at the April 13 Board meeting for professional architectural services that will assist the District to program and plan for a new Central High School and a renovated Centennial High School.


The two firms have developed a close-knit relationship through working on multiple school projects together over the past several years.


DLR Group is ranked number one among architecture firms in the United States in the education market for last five years in a row by BD World Architecture. It also plans and designs more high schools than any other architecture firm in the U.S. DLR Group’s national presence and expert staff, combined with its industry leadership, provide the team with a broad perspective on the latest educational facility opportunities, while Gorski Reifsteck brings a deep knowledge of the Champaign community.


Gorski Reifsteck/DLR Group will work with the District to determine academic programs housed at each school and ensure adequate space is allocated for the growing student population. The culmination of this work will be a recommendation to the Board of Education for the educational programming of a new Central High School and renovated Centennial High School.


Highlights of the programming process will include:

  • Examining available data
  • Visiting classrooms to observe teaching and learning today
  • Building programmatic data models to quantify space needs
  • Developing program diagrams to show how the high schools will work together
  • Working closely with faculty, administration, and Board members


Executive Director of Business Services/CSBO Matthew Foster also presented a Master Facility Plan based on recommendations from the Facility Committee and District administration (please see the attached draft plan). Based on Board feedback regarding the draft plan, this item will appear again for discussion at an upcoming meeting prior to any formal Board adoption.



Stephanie Stuart

Community Relations Coordinator

Champaign Unit #4 School District


7 Responses to “Next steps in Facility Planning”

  1. charlesdschultz Says:

    Here are some warning signs for me personally:
    1 – No implication of “community involved planning” at all. Nada.
    2 – The Facility Committee has been meeting and talking with Gorski Reifsteck/DLR Group about these things, but there is nothing to reflect any of these conversations on the Facility Committee webpage, neither is the Master Plan itself available online anywhere – the closest we have are the previous 5 board meetings. The “attached” Master Plan is merely a hard-to-read PDF image of a map with symbols on it.

  2. Karen Says:

    ‘The culmination of this work will be a recommendation to the Board of Education for the educational programming of a new Central High School and renovated Centennial High School.’
    Architects will recommend educational programming for the high schools?

    • charlesdschultz Says:

      Exactly my sentiments.

      It gets even better. If you look carefully at the agenda, you can find an item that shows us spending over $800,000 to buy curriculum materials, ostensibly “saving” $1.3 million (whatever).

      You are welcome, McGraw-Hill. Don’t spend it all at once.

  3. charlesdschultz Says:

    Tim Mitchell covered the meeting last night – more comprehensive plans to be coming out “by July”:

    The level of community input looks pretty poor in my opinion – a couple sessions where specific folks are invited, a couple surveys, a couple “observation” sessions….. *sigh*

  4. charlesdschultz Says:

    Matt Foster and the DLR group showed some powerpoint slides at the Monday BOE meeting (including the picture that was released to the public), yet neither the board members nor the public was furnished with said slides. Granted, there were only a few and contained just a little bit of information.

    I don’t get why the district wouldn’t want to go above and beyond to share all information they have.

  5. Rebecca Says:

    It annoys me when the school district has “invited” meetings and then cherry picks who they want to come. When they hold meetings this way, it often seems to be the business community and not the families that get well represented. IMO, anyone who is willing to give up their time to participate clearly feels passionately about Unit 4 schools–whether they agree with the school board or not–and they should be allowed to participate. Iif you REALLY want to know what a cross-section of people (voters) in the Unit 4 district are thinking, you have to hear from them. I suppose from their point of view, it keeps the meetings from being chaotic because it limits the numbers (and allows them to control the outcome/message). But how legitimate is that message when it comes from such a narrow perspective?

  6. Karen Says:

    Exactly what Rebecca said. By-invitation-only will later be conflated to ‘community input.’ They want (more of) our money–nothing else.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: