Last night, the Champaign City Council voted on a plea from PACA (Preservation and Conservation Association) to grant landmark status to the Burnham House on Lynn and Church Streets in Champaign, as well as two other nearby buildings. The buildings are set to be razed as a part of the redevelopment of Central High School. The council's answer? A resounding no.
This is a good thing. I enjoy driving down Church Street and gazing upon the lovely buildings. But do you know what I enjoy more? Students in Unit 4 having quality educational facilities. Central is a mess, and has been for awhile. The fight over how to rehab or replace it has been long. The first referendum was shot down by the Keep Central Central folks...fine. We've now voted to keep Central central, after the new school board conducted months and months of research, developed multiple plans, sought community input (I mean seriously took every opportunity share their plans with anyone and everyone who would show up and listen), and the voters decided.
History is great, but it's history. Let's invest our energy in the future. And according to Whitney Houston, that would be the children.