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Pool Sites Considered 2012-2015

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Single Pool Off Campus

Would mean eliminating swimming from the PE curriculum. Finding an on-campus option was considered a priority from the beginning of the site-search process. (Stantec Report, 4.23)

Renovate Current Pools

Physical layouts are substandard for a modern eight-lane competition pool, with only five lanes (West Pool) and six lanes (East Pool), pool decks that do not meet current safety codes, and impeded spectator sight lines. Bringing up to code for deck width would eliminate a lane in each pool and possibly more, as 48-inch code-required width is still not ideal. Potential necessity to reduce PE instruction. Depth and head clearance of diving well do not meet code; digging a deeper well would have structural stability implications. Decision that any potential site must be capable of sustaining—at a minimum—an eight-lane, 25-yard pool, given that anything smaller would not be adequate for PE and competitive swim programs. Stantec committee felt that for such a large expenditure, result should have at least as much water as current pools, not less. Operation and maintenance of a single pool would be more cost effective than having duplicate mechanicals for two pools. A single eight-lane, 25-yard pool or eight-lane stretch pool (approximately 40 meters) would require about the same footprint as the two current pools combined. Additionally, a single stretch pool would provide a 70% larger body of water than the eight-lane 25-yard option. (Stantec Report, 1.3, 2.7, 3.11, 3.12)

East Pool + South Gym (Weight Room)

East Pool and Weight Room were identified in the Stantec study as being able to accommodate an eight-lane x 25-yard pool. (Stantec Report, 1.3, 3.17) These areas are in two separate buildings, however, and would require the demolition of the entire building that contains the Weight Room and the gyms above it. Later analysis of the south athletic facility and southeast corner (see below) supports the idea that this was too costly, while at the same time being unable to fit the preferred stretch pool and causing more disruption to programming than any of the options outside the footprint of the school building. 

Tennis Courts

Losing outdoor activity space was deemed unacceptable, as it could not be recaptured the way building space could be by using a multi-floored design. (Stantec Report, 3.21) Tennis court site subsequently reconsidered in greater detail. Would mean relocating tennis program off campus and eliminating tennis from PE curriculum. Pool facility would be far from other athletics facilities; would require extra faculty to supervise transitions (because of distance instructors would have to travel back and forth from their classes in gyms and pool). Loss of instructional time because of distance from the main building. If not connected to main building, would require students to walk outside in the elements and extra security staff to monitor. Connecting to building would require a second-floor catwalk and installation of two elevators (one at each end), meaning loss of the Tutoring Center and other space in main building. Concern about disruption to neighborhood, in terms of traffic and effect on sight lines. Line-of-site village ordinance would require greater set-back, causing additional loss of green space and possibly softball or baseball fields. (BOE memo, Nov. 21, 2013, p. 3) Placing tennis courts on roof of pool structure was considered. Only six (of the current eight) would fit, which is inadequate for the PE curriculum. No spectator space. Elevating courts 30 feet would create a wind tunnel with no cover. Would require extra support columns inside pool building, limiting spectator sight lines for the pool and possibly reducing the pool size or configuration. (BOE memo, Nov. 21, 2013, p. 4)

Lake Street Athletic Field between Scoville and East Avenues

Losing outdoor activity space was deemed unacceptable, because it could not be recaptured as building space could by using a multi-floor design within the footprint of the existing building. (Stantec Report, 3.21)

North Cafeteria

With space for only six lanes, did not meet the criterion that any potential site must be capable of sustaining—at a minimum—an eight-lane, 25-yard pool, because anything smaller would not be adequate for an acceptable PE and competitive swim program. (Stantec Report, 3.21, 5.48) Pool space could not be expanded into the Mall area because of electrical and emergency access requirements. (Pool Committee minutes, Nov. 17, 2014) 

South Cafeteria

Was not studied because this space was earmarked for future cafeteria expansion. If used for a pool, would have to move all kitchen operations, an extremely costly proposition.

Fieldhouse + West Pool

Combining these two sites allowed exploration of an east-west orientation of an eight-lane stretch pool, which would preserve more of the existing Fieldhouse, especially the basketball gym. (Stantec Report, 3.22) However, would lose most of the south end of the Fieldhouse, affecting PE spaces and the indoor track, an unusual asset in our conference. Would need to increase ceiling height to meet diving requirements. Would lose the climbing-wall gym. (Long-Term Facilities Committee Report, Sept. 26, 2013)

South Athletic Facility Renovation

Site was revisited in detail, with four different scenarios explored. The most expensive option was estimated at $141 million and included demolition of the southeast corner of the building, excavation of the basement and building up three floors. The least expensive option was estimated at $82 million to excavate the southeast corner of the facility, build a 50-meter pool, repurpose the two existing pools, and build up only two stories (vs. a third floor with new gyms, locker rooms and bleachers, which would require a zoning variance and cost $107 million). Removing current support structures could endanger the rest of the building. (Pool Committee minutes, Dec. 1, 2014, p. 5) All options deemed too costly. (Pool Committee minutes, Nov. 17, 2014, pp 1-2)

Southeast Corner of the Building
(Dr. Ralph Lee’s Proposal)

Because southeast corner comprises multiple buildings built separately, would require complete demolition and reconstruction of the area. Would need newly constructed area to replace lost PE spaces (weight room, dance studio, two gyms on third floor and the athletic department offices). Utilities would have to be relocated during construction. Cost of $75 million deemed too expensive. (Pool Committee minutes, Dec. 1, 2014, p. 3)

Renovate Current Pools plus Off-Campus Competition Pool

No pros, only cons could be identified: No possible property identified, do not have a partner, property would come off the tax rolls, viability of funding plan in question, would lose option to repurpose current pool space. (Pool Committee minutes, Dec. 8, 2014, p. 6)

Move Baseball Field into Stadium with Pool Somewhere on West Field
(Dr. Steve Gevinson’s Proposal)

Football could not be moved without moving the lights, whose placement is governed by agreements with the neighbors and the village. Would not allow a permanent dugout. Limited ability to put in more bleachers and spectator space. Soccer uses stadium in the spring, and baseball and soccer schedules would conflict. Moving lacrosse and soccer to outfield of softball fields would create too much physical overlap. (Pool Committee minutes, Dec. 14, 2014, p. 6)

Add an Additional Level to Parking Garage to Hold Tennis Courts

Cost would be $8-10 million to add a level with eight courts. (Pool Committee minutes, Dec. 14, 2014, p. 6) However, garage was not designed for adding a full flat level with the resulting snow loads. Would also have limited spectator space and community access, and have issues of wind and perspective.

Parking Garage with Some Parking

Three configurations were examined, with 118, 158, and 185 spaces. The costs were estimated at, respectively, $47.6 million, $53.3 million, and $63.2 million. (Pool Committee minutes, Dec. 15, 2014) Recommendation of the Pool Committee was to build on the garage site with 118 spaces IF an off-campus site for baseball, softball, or tennis could not be found within 90 days. (Pool Committee recommendation to the Board, Jan. 13, 2015) Board amended the deadline to its April 23, 2015, Board meeting and voted in favor of the recommendation. (Special Board meeting minutes, Jan. 13, 2015)

West Field with
Baseball, Softball, or Tennis
Relocated Off Campus

If tennis, would eliminate tennis from the PE curriculum. (BOE meeting minutes, Aug. 28, 2014, pp. 4-5) Conversations between OPRF representatives and outside groups led to elimination of potential sites that included the Altenheim parcel in Forest Park (Forest Park not interested), Bushwood Golf Practice Center in Maywood (under a tax lien because of prohibitively high back taxes), Oak Park Village Hall (too expensive), Triton College (about to break ground on new athletics facilities construction and not possible to meet requirement of an immediate agreement), local tennis clubs (not enough space), Chicago Park District/Columbus Park tennis courts (not enough space), park districts of Oak Park and Forest Park tennis courts (not enough courts in one location), baseball field in River Forest (no IHSA regulation-size field), closed driving range next to  Costco parking lot. (Off-Campus Sports Needs)

Two-Story Parking Garage on Lake Street Athletic Field plus
Block of Scoville Avenue from Lake Street to the Tracks

Would require village to close this block of Scoville and make it available to the district. Cost estimated at $10.3 million for 266 parking spots. Concern about relocating water main. Would need to reconfigure hockey/lacrosse/soccer fields, making them smaller (possibly too small for competition) and oriented in a different direction; would create conflicts in scheduling practices and matches. Probable loss of jogging track, a valued community asset. (Pool memo, April 23, 2015) Did not have sufficient Board support for further consideration. (BOE minutes, April 23, 2015, p. 18)

One-Story Parking Garage on  Lake Street Athletic Fields with Fields on Roof

Garage/field construction estimated at $17-19 million (BOE Special meeting minutes, April 14, 2015, p. 3), which was deemed too expensive. (Pool memo, April 14, 2015, p. 2)

Parking Garage with No Parking Spaces Incorporated
Approved 2015

Currently the Board-approved site. A district-commissioned parking study from consultant KLOA examined whether area roadways could accommodate the existing parking demand currently served by the parking garage. (KLOA parking study memo, Oct. 1, 2014) The study found that demand could be accommodated if parking restrictions were modified or eliminated on 15-20 blocks in the surrounding area. (KLOA parking study memo, Oct. 1, 2014, p. 7) The Village of Oak Park worked with the district to identify on-street parking options that would be more restrictive than the on-street parking that existed prior to the garage being built. (Pool memo, April 23, 2015, p. 4) BOE voted 7-0 to locate pool on the current garage site without parking. (BOE minutes, April 23, 2015) The district and village collaborated on a proposed parking plan, which would need approval from the village to be enacted. (Proposed parking plan, Nov. 23, 2015)