Editor’s note: This is the fourth of a four-part series this week answering questions posed about the school construction process. All parts of this series are being presented by Urbana City Schools Superintendent Charles Thiel.
Why are students going out to Local?
The original timeline for the school project had the PreK-8 school scheduled to be built and occupied prior to the construction of the new high school. As the construction team began reviewing the schedule and site logistics, it became apparent that the District could fully utilize the Local Intermediate building with the move of pre-school classrooms back to the Lawnview building.
The ability to move students would allow for constructing both buildings concurrently. Using Local to house two grade levels, as it had previously for many years, would allow the demolition of part of the of the high school so that new construction could begin. The construction team also saw this as a cost-savings measure as it would reduce the impact of annual inflation on the total project.
The revised schedule had the construction of the PreK-8 school starting the summer of 2016 with a completion during the spring of 2018 and opening in the fall of the 2018-19 school year. The high school would start demolition and construction in the late fall of 2016 or early 2017 and be completed late in the fall of 2018. It was projected that students could move in at the middle of the 2018-19 school year.
Due to the need to relocate the PreK-8 school building, the schedule has been revised. The current schedule calls for the high school to start construction during the mid to late summer of 2016 with a completion in the early part of 2018. Ideally, students will move into the new school following the spring break in March/April of 2018. The PreK-8 building is scheduled to start construction in the spring of 2017 with a completion in the spring of 2019. Students will be in the new school for the fall of 2019. Depending on any delays, students may occupy the building as early as after the spring break in 2019.
This schedule change results in about a six-month total delay to the entire project.
This op-ed written by Mr. Thiel has been printed exactly as it was submitted. For previously submitted op-ed pieces on this topic, log on to www.urbanacitizen.com and browse the Opinion section.