Dear OPRFHS Community,
I want to update you on the status of the West Pool, which had to be closed last school year due to structural issues that made the pool unsafe. Click here to read the communication about the closure and the repairs that were needed in order to bring the West Pool back online.
The plan was to make the repairs and install a pool liner over the summer, so that the West Pool would be operational in time for the start of school in August. Unfortunately, while the repairs made the pool structurally sound, once it was filled, it continued to leak. We re-drained the pool and began a lengthy process of trial and error to determine the issue.
We believe we’ve identified the source of the problem, and additional repairs are in process. Once they’re completed in the coming weeks, we’re hopeful that we’ll be able to reopen the West Pool. At that point, we’ll be able to create a timeline for making repairs that are necessary but less urgent in the East Pool.
These fixes, however, are not a long-term solution. The East Pool and the West Pool were built nearly 100 years ago, in 1928, and have been used far beyond the normal 40- to 50-year lifespan of a pool. Last spring, the Board of Education approved making the repairs in both pools at a total cost not to exceed $1,174,007. The amount spent as of August was $377,921.
Realistically, the best we can hope is to keep the pools limping along until they’re replaced with a new pool, one that will meet the curricular needs of roughly 2,000 physical education students every year, as well as the extracurricular needs of about 200 student athletes.
In the meantime, with only the East Pool available, we have had to continue the significant adjustments to our pool scheduling. These have included shortening the six-week freshman and sophomore PE swimming units to three weeks, canceling all pool usage and rentals by outside organizations, and running athletics practices on a later schedule at night. Once the West Pool reopens, we anticipate being able to return to our normal schedule of usage by our PE classes, athletic teams, and outside organizations.
We know this process has been lengthy and frustrating, and we thank you for your patience as we have worked to provide a safe learning environment for our school and community.
Dr. Greg Johnson