At its regular monthly meeting last night, the Oak Park and River Forest High School District 200 Board of Education approved the parking garage next to the high school as the site for constructing a new 50-meter swimming pool.
Currently, per an intergovernmental agreement with the Village of Oak Park, the village owns the garage while the district owns the land on which it is built. The total estimated cost of $37.5 million for the pool project includes $3.5 million for the district to purchase and demolish the garage. A decision about how to finance the project will be made at a later date. Construction is planned to begin in June 2016, with the pool to be completed in time for the 2018-2019 school year.
The new pool structure will not incorporate parking, and the district has been working closely with the Village of Oak Park to develop a plan for replacing the 300 parking spots lost in the demolition of the garage with on-street parking around the high school.
The board’s selection of a pool site was informed by a detailed study conducted last fall by a special board committee. The 17-member committee included District 200 board members, administrators, and faculty, as well as nine community members.
The two swimming pools at the high school were built in 1926, and since then, roughly 80,000 students have taken swimming as a required part of OPRF physical education. The normal lifespan of an indoor competition pool is 40 to 50 years. At nearly 90 years old, both pools have significant maintenance and functionality issues and have exhausted their useful life.
For further information visit www.oprfhs.org Pool Project.