The Oak Park Gymnastics Center will host its grand opening on Saturday, Oct. 5. This 18,670-square-foot facility was built at a total taxpayer expenditure of $5,803,721 (see p. 23 of the Oak Park Park District annual report). Oak Park and River Forest High School has a girls gymnastics program that competes on three levels, freshman, junior varsity and varsity. The boys gymnastics team was disbanded in the late '80s or early '90s. Neither Fenwick nor Trinity High School have gymnastic teams.
There are those in the People's Republic of Oak Park who will complain that a taxpayer outlay of $5,803,721 is obscene and unwarranted, especially when Oak Park residents are already among the highest-taxed residents in "Crook" County. I am not one of those Nattering Nabobs of Negativity. Oak Park has Frank Lloyd Wright and we have Ernest Hemingway. I am confident that the Oak Park Gymnastic Center will produce Oak Park's own version of Olympic gold medalist Nadia Comaneci; it's only a matter of time! Let's see, the 2016 Olympics is too soon to expect that level of success, but the 2020 Olympics are a strong possibility.
I would like the Park District of Oak Park to consider adding a new sports activity, which would be polo. Just think of the exciting new and diverse programs a Polo Team and polo field could produce. Once we Cap the Ike we could use a portion of the newly acquired land for a polo field, barns and a pasture. The costs associated with the polo endeavor are irrelevant as the taxpayers will be footing the bill.