Swimming's benefits last a lifetime

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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As a mother and grandmother of OPRF swimmers, I have come to learn the many advantages of this unique form of exercise and sport. Although only a small part of the Imagine Group's infrastructure plan, a modern pool offers advantages to all OPRF students. Every student, whether tall or short, over- or underweight, disabled or not, can benefit from swimming. Autistic children seem to feel calmer and more focused after a period of lap swimming. My husband and I, in the latter years of our lives, still enjoy swimming. How many other sports offer a lifetime of benefits? Don't be shortsighted. A good pool can last 100 years. 

Sylvia Christmas 

Oak Park 

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Monica Sheehan  

Posted: November 16th, 2018 7:40 PM

Bruce, A community/high school pool is a real option now. A pool at OPRF is actually a want, not a need. If there were no pool on campus, OPRF could still retain its swimming requirement, similar to Glenbard North. It has no pool, but requires every student to take three weeks of swimming. It uses its park district pool. It and other schools have aquatic teams that also practice and compete at off site pools. A community pool is one option for OPRF as well as an on site standard size high school competition pool. Neither option would require the demolition of the structurally sound school building. Imagine's large pool can't be built without demolition, which hikes its price tag. The entire $67 million cost estimate for Sequence 2 is an associated building cost of the pool. The other elements in the sequence can be accommodated through renovation, but that's not the case for the pool that's double the size of a standard size high school competition pool.

Jason Cohen  

Posted: November 16th, 2018 7:25 PM

@Bruce, I wasn't suggesting a community center solution because I thought the school would go for it. I know they want everyone on campus. In a perfect world I get that but some compromise is needed here. I personally think you get the park district and D200 together (split the cost?) and you build a great community center that the HS has first choice access to and then you let the rest of the community use it. You toss in a nice running track and basketball hoops and the whole community is made better. What do you think will be more attractive to new people moving to OP an amazing HS pool or an amazing community center that people can enjoy throughout there enitire OP experience. I am just saying what I think is smart. ?

Bruce Kline  

Posted: November 16th, 2018 7:15 PM

Monica and Jason. If you recall the high school still wanted it's very own on site pool.

Monica Sheehan  

Posted: November 16th, 2018 5:47 PM

Jason, I thank you for your post. A community center pool would be a rational, cost-effective and the pragmatic solution. It would also provide the added benefit of opening up a lot of space within the school building, three stories of space for each pool at OPRF. A joint pool solution would be an ideal resource to share among our taxing silos.

Jason Cohen  

Posted: November 16th, 2018 3:48 PM

Let's build a community center then and allow us all to use these facilities instead of a very small number of HS students. The HS can use it and so can everyone else in the community.

Tom MacMillan from Oak Park  

Posted: November 16th, 2018 3:14 PM

The pool is not a "small part" of the Imagine plan, it is at the very core of everything within that plan. And it is a huge item all by itself expense wise. Pretending it is some tiny part of the plan is frankly a lie that has been the single most annoying part of the pool people's arguments. The cost of the pool has made it into an unaffordable luxury we can and should live without.

Dori Bernstein  

Posted: November 15th, 2018 8:42 AM

A new high school competition pool, 8 lanes by 25 yards, build in the existing structure would be wonderful. The Imagine plan needs to be reworked and the swim curriculum revised to be in line with other area high school.

Doug Springer  

Posted: November 13th, 2018 9:47 PM

I agree swimming is a great lifelong exercise with many benefits. But, It has been proven learning to swim is best in early years ie elementary school age children. Building a $67MILLION natatorium at a high school is an absurd amount of money to burden the taxpayers with and would only benefit roughly 100 "competitive aquatics individuals" at OPRFHS during any given year. Just look at Hinsdale, yes Hinsdale, they voted NO, again, to referendum because.......wait for it.....they don't care about overspending on new pools!

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