I have a couple bigger posts that I am working on, but I did want to relay recent news, including upcoming events where the school district is holding informational sessions about why they think the referendum is a good idea:
Community Lunch & Info session
Champaign Unit 4 School District will host a Sunday Lunch and Info Session on the upcoming high school referendum.
Where: Booker T. Washington STEM Academy (606 East Grove Street, Champaign)
When: Sunday, October 19, 2014 from 1:30-3:00 p.m.
Join us for lunch provided by Seaboat and an information session about the November 4 high school referendum as well as other important developments in our community schools!
October 21st and 30th
Champaign Unit 4 School District will host two Public Information Nights to provide opportunities for evening school tours and to educate voters about the November 4 high school referendum.
Public Information Nights will be held:
• Central High School – Tuesday, October 21 from 6-8 p.m. in Seely Hall
• Centennial High School – Thursday, October 30 in the Main Hallway (just inside the Visitor’s Entrance)
Information tables will be set up during this time. District representatives, students, and architects will be on hand to answer questions and provide information. School tours will also be offered.
“Our goal with the Public Information Nights is to ensure that voters have access to the information they need to make an informed decision on November 4,” said Superintendent Dr. Judy Wiegand. “We hope community members will take advantage of these opportunities to step inside our schools and speak with our teachers, students, and administrators who utilize our current school facilities daily.”
UPDATED (thanks Pattsi)
7:00 – 9:00 pm at Jericho Baptist Church (discussing the referendum)
Community Education Forum
6:00 – 8:00 pm at the Rose & Taylor Barber and Beauty Shop
In other news, Tim Mitchell reported from the October 13th BOE meeting that while Dr. Howard would not be addressed until 2025, Edison would be even further down the timeline, possibly around 2034. One of my own problems with the referendum and the “planning” surrounding it is that we have never seen the list of deferred maintenance items that spell out why these buildings (and others, to a lesser degree) are “falling apart” as some have said. I am going to put John Bambenek and Kerris Lee on the spot by mentioning that I have repeatedly asked for these lists, and lately I have tried to make it simpler by focusing on a list of maintenance items that John Ayers keeps, specifically those items that are over two-years old and over $100k. I don’t care about broken fixtures and the “riffraff” that changes from day to day, I am more concerned about those big ticket items that have been “kicked down the street” for a long time now. For instance, the A/C at Central, which is no longer a hot topic (tongue in cheek) as we move into winter.
Speaking of the A/C at Central, a reader submitted an interesting question to Tom Kacich in his mailbag:
“Tom, regarding Unit 4 and their need to air condition Central High School, either now or following the pending re-purposing of that space, has Unit 4’s consultants investigated the feasibility and cost of installing a ductless A/C system. The cassette type units are designed to fit in existing spaces where ductwork would be difficult to install. Newer models are very quiet, and my understanding is the system is considered efficient. The coolant lines, electrical lines, and drain lines can all be ran with flexible materials meaning the existing ceilings can mostly be preserved. The units would require the dreaded electrical upgrades, but any decent use of that space – school or otherwise, would surely require electrical improvements anyway. Perhaps the power efficiency achieved by newer, more efficient lighting could provide enough power for some or all of this type of a system, at least within the classrooms.”