In a close vote and after more than three hours of public comments and discussion, the Oak Park and River Forest High School District 200 Board of Education Thursday night voted 4-3 to approve the installation of lights at the school’s football stadium.

During a sometimes raucous meeting, the board approved the resolution with members Dr. Dietra Millard, Barry Greenwald and Barbara Fernandez voting against the measure.

The special Thursday night meeting took place at Oak Park and River Forest High School’s third-floor library.

The resolution, however, included several restrictions raised by board members, such as limiting the number of games to be played under the lights, which stands at 14 under the current proposal. The resolution also included establishing a neighborhood advisory committee that would meet at least twice in the fall, and the use of a traffic study plan.

The traffic study would likely take place this fall at a cost from $12,000 to $14,000 by an outside firm. The lights proposal will be sent next to the village board by 2007. The Booster Club has pledged to raise money for the installation of lights.

Before voting on the resolution at around 10:35 p.m., members listened to more than an hour of public comments from stadium lights supporters and opponents. Statements from various speakers, included neighbors living near the school and stadium opposed to lights, and the Boosters and some OPRF students in favor.

In a few instances, audience members both pro and con shouted out in response to comments from other speakers.

One audience member angrily got up during the board discussion of the resolution shouting, “This is a done deal. You’ve already made up your decision,” interrupting board member Barry Greenwald’s remarks. Another audience member was heard saying, “You make me sick,” during the board’s discussion. Other neighbors opposed to lights were visibly upset after the vote.

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