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Take a look at Unit 4’s updated school site plans

Champaign Unit 4 Schools has released some information about the potential site builds for Central, Centennial, Edison, and some others.

Per the press release:

Champaign Unit 4 School District has made updated school site plans under consideration available for public viewing and feedback on its planning website. The plans have been prepared as a result of the recommendations of the Tier II Committee for Facility Planning, which included representatives from a variety of stakeholder groups. 

 
Cost estimates are provided for each option. Videos have also been created to demonstrate process that might be undertaken to renovate, modernize, and expand the high school facilities at their current locations. 
 
The District and Board of Education also invites members of the community to attend the second of two Town Hall Meetings on Thursday, July 14, 2016 at Centennial High School at 6 p.m.
 

There are several mock ups and slide shows available at the construction page, and some videos posted that I've embedded below for you to take a look at.

Potential Centennial Construction Phasing from Champaign Schools on Vimeo.

Potential Central Construction Phasing from Champaign Schools on Vimeo.

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Check out this unearthed Champaign Farmers’ Market photo from 1910

With farmers' market season in full swing, and with a few great options in C-U — Urbana's Market at the Square and Champaign's Farmers' Market by Land Connection — things are pretty solid.

I noticed this post via Urbana Free Library, which posted this photo (above) from their archives:

Back of photograph reads: "Outdoor market -- Champaign around 1910." From the "Farmers market--Champaign" photograph envelope.

A little nostalgia for you. For me, I don't know much about the history of farmers' markets in this community, so it was interesting to see a photo from over 100 years ago. Stay tuned for Market Watch later this week.

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On a warm day, smoothies from Strawberry Fields are where it’s at

I was driving away from Downtown Urbana today after running around to SeeYou CD & Vinyl, as well as a stop at the City of Urbana building. Various things on an afternoon — a beauty of a day, you know? Windows down and shit. Playing the new Blood Orange album that just came out. Typical Patrick Singer stuff. I'm boring.

My next meeting was on campus, and while driving down Springfield Avenue, I saw this sign:


That looks very chill, indeed. I briefly thought of the iced coffee at Flying Machine for a minute. Granted, this wasn't taken while driving — don't worry. After my meeting finished up, and I walked outside, I said damn — that sounds really good right now. So, I make a short little trip back towards Downtown Urbana to Strawberry Fields

There are lotsa options for these smoothies — many combinations of fruits (blueberries, strawberries, peaches, etc) and liquids (milk, orange juice, apple juice, etc) — so I asked the gentleman behind the counter what he recommended.

He suggested this one that you see here, strawberries and peaches mixed with orange juice.

As you can see in the top photo, there's some of that smoothie already in the straw, I couldn't make it out of the store, admittedly, without trying some of it first. And for only $5, no less, for some freshness on a warm afternoon.

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Farren’s announces new lunch and dinner specials

I like burgers, you like burgers, and it's a pretty widely-known fact that Farren's has some of the best in Champaign-Urbana. With that being said, they also throw together some pretty awesome dishes outside of the hamburger, as well.

Earlier this month, they announced a plethora of new specials, both for lunch and for dinner, that make my mouth water just reading them. Check out the full list of specials below, and make sure to stop in and give them a try, because, let's be honest: Farren's has never let us down before.

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Napleton’s Auto Park hosting blood drive next Monday afternoon

If last week's events were any indication, the need for blood donors — whether it be in Champaign-Urbana or across the country — is extremely evident. As such, I feel it important to chat about Napleton's Auto Park and the Community Blood Services of Illinois, who are teaming up to host a blood drive next Monday afternoon.

The donation truck will be parked at the dealership, on Cunningham Ave. in Urbana. Donating blood is always important, so why not come out and donate next week? You'll probably even get a juice box and a cookie to go along with that awesome feeling of saving someone's life.

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Some choice photos from Garden Walk 2016

The Champaign County Master Gardener's hosted their annual Garden Walk this past weekend. The event was well attended and the weather was gorgeous. I met with coordinator Ava Heap and garden expert, and University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Educator Sandra Mason who were very friendly, showed me around the IDEA Garden, and recommended that I drive out to Philo, IL to visit one of the most impressive gardens on the tour. 

I arrive in Philo and found myself in front of a large red house that later I would find out was converted from a church into a house. I walked around back to find a large garden that was more like a sanctuary. It had stone paths leading to different nooks and cranies of the garden and was lined with bright, green leaves, vibrant flowers and rich, brown trunks and stalks. The garden was alive both in terms of plants and people.

Sitting on the porch was Barb Socha, the Master Gardener. "I started out with just a few plants. About 40 years ago," she explained. Her garden transports you into another and is very well kept so that you can enjoy plants without the distraction of weeds. Barb is a former professor at U of I and always loved beautiful gardens. "I figured if I wanted to enjoy a garden I would have to make it myself." And she has done just that. 

Here are some more of my favorite plants from the day. Some are from Barb's garden and some are from other gardens. 

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Downtown Champaign’s Fleurish is an unassuming gem

I was walking around Downtown Champaign yesterday afternoon, quite literally melting my face off, when I happened past Fleurish, a florist sandwiched in between the Blind Pig on Walnut and Barrelhouse 34.

I went inside, just for fun, and discovered one of the most quaint (and well-air-conditioned) shops in Champaign-Urbana. I even picked up some freshly-cut lavender for my girlfriend, which has my apartment smelling great this morning. In addition to basic floral services, they also offer a variety of perfumes and candles, which can be found below.

Check out the pictures below to see what I mean about this space - I may just start living in there, if they'll allow it. 

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I saw this photo of Huber’s and want to talk about neighborhood bars

I love the Champaign Urbana History Facebook group. It kind of is the best. So I've taken a liking to posting things that others post there onto this here magazine. Just another place on the internet, you know.

We definitely need to do a series about neighborhood bars in Champaign-Urbana, no question. It is kind of overdue. We've had an ongoing discussion about them in the inner circle here at SP, so what are your favorites? 

Cary Frye posted this photo, above, of Huber's with a bit of a vintage feel.