Archives: Imagine OPRF
Formed in spring 2017, the Imagine OPRF Work Group is charged with making recommendations to the Board of Education for a fiscally responsible facilities plan that supports equity and current and future academic programming needs. Imagine OPRF will review previous facilities plans and research, explore new options, and gather community input.
Imagine OPRF is an outcome of the November 2016 election, when the community voted down a bond issue of up to $25 million. The bonds would have been combined with $20 million from the district's cash reserves to fund a $44.5 million five-year facilities plan.
According to the results from the Cook County Board of Elections, out of 35,676 ballots cast, those opposed to the bond issue prevailed by a margin of 28 votes. With community interest high and the vote so close, the district decided that a new, community-based approach was needed to solve its facilities issues.
In December 2016, the Board of Education approved creation of a community engagement committee to make recommendations for a long-range facilities plan. To see the resolution as well as the process for establishing the committee, click here.
Work Group Membership
The district conducted outreach to every household in Oak Park and River Forest, inviting residents to apply to become a member of Imagine OPRF. Our goal was to select a diverse, representative group with regard to age, race, gender, family configuration, families who've felt connected to OPRF/families who've felt excluded, renter/homeowner, children/no children, background and experience, level of education, personally connected to D200/no connection, etc. Ninety people completed an application.
While the initial plan was to select a work group of 25, the launch team that reviewed applicants felt that the groundswell of citizen interest warranted expanding that number. The final work group has 43 members, who will meet for the first time on Aug. 26, 2017. We anticipate that the full group will divide into subcommittees to manage the work and report out findings.