Good morning and $150 million

re: http://www.news-gazette.com/news/local/2014-07-28/tentative-amount-champaign-high-schools-150-million.html

 

I am boggled by this.

 

The money includes $98 million for Central and $52 million for Centennial, but no money to renovate Dr. Howard Elementary School or more than $200 million in other needs identified in a 20-year master facility plan Monday night.” — corrected by Julie Wurth

“The money includes $98 million for Central and $52 million for Centennial, but no money to renovate Dr. Howard Elementary School or almost $100 million in other needs identified in a 20-year master facility plan Monday night.”

 

“As part of their “Master Facility Plan,” administrators also outlined almost $250 million of projects to be done over the next 20 years.”

 

Houston, we have a problem.

 

UPDATE – Links from Stephanie Stuart:

20 Master Facility Plan

High School Facilities Vision

 

The above is required reading before we start tearing this apart. 🙂

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14 Responses to “Good morning and $150 million”

  1. pattsi Says:

    Second referendum in 2016.

  2. Karen Says:

    What has the other top 12 conference schools reference have to do with anything relative to our taxes and education (academics)? Help me out with the premise, as I don’t understand the logic in that comparison. Maybe I am missing something?? Are they just purposefully putting this stuff out there to fail because there is some other alternatives in the wings they ultimately want to promote? Who writes the Master Plan, again?

  3. Karen Says:

    There are other ways to grow the distrtic than this. That this is what is proposed to grow the distritct might be a reason why the district doesn’t grow(?)

  4. Kathy R. Says:

    Last night was my first board meeting. (And what a meeting! I left when they went into executive session again at 9:40pm.) I counted perhaps 5 other people in the audience who weren’t speaking or attending for work reasons. For whose benefit, then, did so many teachers and administrators speak so passionately about the need for improvements at the high school level? Who is actually having this conversation? Three minutes of public comment time, three hours before these plans are discussed, seems so disconnected as to be laughable.

    • charlesdschultz Says:

      Kathy, the video of the meeting is finally online:
      https://vimeo.com/102333336

      The gentleman who spoke before you, Doug West, had some very strong comments about how the referendum will not pass. Too bad the NG did not pick up on that. But I am glad the NG did cover your comments.

      Well done.

      I am curious, did Dr. Wiegand contact you? Did you have a good follow-up conversation?

  5. Kathy R. Says:

    To add: I appreciate that those who have been engaged in this discussion for years might get inpatient being asked to rehash things for a newcomer. Well then, how about making the history of this debate easily available on the Unit 4 website so newcomers like me can get up to speed? You should expect and welcome newcomers to this discussion, Unit 4, because we are driving your increase in enrollment.

    • charlesdschultz Says:

      Kathy, I would love to hear more about your thoughts of the meeting. I am still waiting for it to be uploaded to Vimeo so I can watch it myself.

      As to the overall gestalt, I have tried to tell the board and the administration that the community has completely forgotten about Great Schools, Together, the 2008 $200 million estimate to get all schools up to code, not to mention all the other “things” that the district and the BOE knows about. The community has a short memory and Unit 4 has not kept the big picture in front of the community. Yes, there is a Strategic Plan, but nobody outside Unit 4 knows it. I would be surprised if half the teachers even knew it existed. Yes, there is a 10-year CIP, but again, who even knows where it is or what it says?

      When I talk to board members about this, the sense I get is that they are so inundanted with data (reports, meetings, presentations, feedback, etc) that they forget they are in the middle of it, the thick of everything that is happening, and don’t bring the rest of the public up to speed. As you witnessed, they think they “talk to the community” when they have board meetings. Only a small handful of community is ever present at board meetings, and a slightly smaller number ever watch the CGTV/Vimeo videos. How is the message getting out of the Mellon Center?

      Yes, a GST or Strategic Plan website, that is updated at least once a month, would be nice. Unit 4 has a glut of committees each with their own meetings, minutes and agendas, and I have to ask to have those put online – even then, who reads them? Who goes to those committee meetings? There is a ton of great content buried in there, but you have to get through all the crap as well and 99.99% of the voter base just doesn’t have time for that. Or they don’t make time.

      The adminstration and the board are doing a ton of “work”. My fear is that it is without the cooperation or even the knowledge of the community at large.

  6. pattsi Says:

    So the challenge to you all is work to change this system There is an election in April with seats open. Talk is great, but action is better. This boardgg allows the least amount of time per individual during public input. They do not make any public iput documents as part of the official record. Work to change these. Suggest that once a month, public input becomes public exchange with the board. That all documents that are presented during public input become part of the record. The CB does this. Champaign city council changed the rules for public input and when this occurs. There are precedents in the communities and around the country to improve public participation. On one hand the board treats the pubic as you descrbe, then on the other hand wonder why the public does not participate.

  7. Kathy R. Says:

    Hi. Letter to the Editor in N-G on the way.

    • charlesdschultz Says:

      http://www.news-gazette.com/opinion/letters-editor/2014-08-03/school-board-can-improve-meetings.html

      Well said, Kathy!

      Just keep in mind, the Board operates as if it is running a business, and thus the board meetings are “business meetings.” I have tried to get the board and the administration to introduce a new kind of meeting, modeled after Wheaton, but it hit a brick wall when not enough board members supported it. When talking to folks at the IASB about this issue, their only advice is to try again in the hopes that the board might be more receptive. I was not encouraged.

      • pattsi Says:

        So, Charles, why are you throwing “cold water” on Kathy by saying “I tried before…..discouraged” without adding; however, this is a new time and April is just around the corner so how can we work together to move toward the change Kathy wrote about?

      • charlesdschultz Says:

        Good point, thanks for calling me out.

        Perhaps my problem, when I tried a couple years ago, it was just me and Chuck saying “Hey, Board, this would be good for you.” But if we have more numbers, maybe we can have a stronger voice. Pattsi, you have a great point in that it is a new time indeed. And April….. April will make things very interesting.

        It comes down to what the community wants and needs from their board members. You (plural, generic) voted for these board members, are they doing the job you want them to do?

        So how can we work together? How do we get more numbers?

  8. pattsi Says:

    Here comes the revolution.


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