Central High School

About the project

The Central High School project is an $99.4 million expansion and renovation that will meet the capacity needs of our student population. The improvements will allow us to:

  • Maintain current school site in core of community.
  • Construct three-story classroom addition following selective demolition of northwest wing of the building to accommodate growing enrollment and eliminate portable classrooms.
  • Renovate and repair existing infrastructure, including building-wide air conditioning, new windows, and updated security systems.
  • Modernize classrooms, auditorium, cafeteria, music, arts, and renovate existing Career & Technical Education Spaces.
  • Purchase properties to double site size.
  • Expand gym space and construct on-site fields for student participation in PE, athletics, and band.

What's happening now?

  • Spring 2018 - After meetings with District and school staff and two community info nights (January 10 and April 17), the project management team reviewed and incorporated feedback. Design will continue until the end of 2018.  

  • Summer 2018 - Historic preservation and salvage on adjacent acquired properties has been completed. Hazardous materials abatement continued within the school and surrounding properties; demolition work for some of the acquired property followed in August. Site preparation and utility work was completed prior to the start of the school year. Construction fencing was installed late August/early September. 

  • Fall 2018 - Hazardous materials abatement in the residential properties surrounding Central was ongoing, as well as demolition and additional utility relocations. New Street was closed November 19-26 due to an Illinois American Water project. 

  • Winter 2018-2019 - Hazardous materials abatement in the residential properties surrounding Central is complete and will be ongoing in the high school. Demolition and utility relocation and installation is ongoing. The community was invited to share feedback on proposed traffic plans for New St. and Lynn St. on Thursday, December 6, at 5:30 p.m. in the Central High School Library. Revised parking restrictions for New St. and Lynn St. are now in effect. Traffic revisions for these streets are still under review by the City of Champaign. Park Avenue closed on January 4, 2019. Bid documents for the Central renovation and expansion work will be available in February. 

  • Spring 2019 - Bids were received for the additions and renovations on March 26, which are currently under evaluation. Lynn Street work is nearly complete. After spring break, Seely Hall became part of the construction activity, and the main entrance is now Decker Theatre. Phase 2 utility work will be complete in April. Hazardous material abatement will occur in some areas of the building. A groundbreaking event was held April 8. Construction will begin for the multipurpose gym addition. 

  • Summer 2019 - Hazardous material abatement.  Structural work for the new gym addition.  Full renovation of several areas inside the school, including the 3rd floor of the original building, Combes Gym, Seely Hall.  Various site utilities and other site work will be on-going.  New windows and HVAC in most of the original building.  Preparing temporary trailers for use during Fall 2019 semester.

  • Fall 2019 - Work continued on north gym addition. Pre cast paneling set during fall. 
  • Winter/Spring 2020 - The shell for the new addition is nearly complete and it will become weather-tight.  Interior build-out will continue.  Some new HVAC equipment will be installed in a small portion of the existing building. Preparation and coordination for Summer 2020 work will continue.  The procurement process for some of the new furniture will begin. 
  • Winter/Spring 2020 - Hazardous material abatement continues.   The new addition is weather-tight and the build-out of its interior is on going.  Mechanical/electrical/plumbing rough-in work continues.  Most walls are in place and painting has begun in many areas.  Some exterior concrete and site work has begun has the weather has started to cooperate. Some HVAC work was completed in the existing building as well as some minor punchlist items. Preparation for Summer 2020 work continues.
  • Summer 2020 - Hazardous material abatement continues.   The new addition is receiving finish coats of paint and flooring throughout. The renovation of the existing spaces continues, with walls going up and painting underway in several areas.  Mechanical/electrical/plumbing rough-in work continues in the existing building and most of the new replacement windows have been installed.  Mass building demo of the Theater/CTE shops wing will begin soon. The first phase of furniture is scheduled to arrive the week of July 27th. Exterior site work for this phase is nearing completion and landscaping will follow.


See the timeline for all projects

An update on all Unit 4 building projects was presented at Referendum Oversight Committee on March 2, 2020. Click HERE to view a PDF of the presentation.  

What will the changes look like?

The images below show the presentation to the Board of Education about project plans as of February 11, 2019.

Download the PDF Watch the board meeting

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