After nearly a year of deliberating and studying various options for a new pool site facility, the District 200 Board of Education will decide on a final site and structure on Aug. 28.
The board will likely vet a final plan at a special board meeting the week before on Aug 19 and take action on the 28th. This would wrap up about a year’s worth of work at the school in trying to replace its current outdated pools. Initial draft plans were released in September 2013 and have since been revised.
The high school will build a new facility on the current parking garage site at Lake and Scoville, on part of the baseball field north of the football stadium, or on Scoville Avenue between Ridgeland Commons and the South Field. The latter space would need to be purchased from the Village of Oak Park. It would also require an election year ballot referendum due to it being a stand-alone structure not attached to the main building.
The parking garage, which is currently owned by the village, would have to be purchased by the school under that option.
A final decision by the board was scheduled for June but delayed after the school began investigating the merits of building on Scoville Avenue, which was added as a potential site late last spring. D200 board members last week finalized the August decision date. Summer 2017 is the school’s scheduled date for opening a new pool facility.
“We’ve targeted our August  meeting to make a decision for the location, and to try and come up with materials that lay out all the pros and cons so that we can make a decision with everyone fully-informed,” says D200 Board President John Phelan.
Cost estimates for the various options of building either on the parking garage location or the baseball field range from $20 to $70. The school’s architectural firms overseeing the project have yet to release estimates and designs for the proposed Scoville site.
Phelan says the firms will have that info available by Aug. 19. The report will also include the impacts a new site will have on the school’s current athletic program and community as a whole.
“It just sort of balances all the pros and cons that we can scrub out while getting everybody at the table together who has some perspective on it. So that’s the document we’re working on, trying to make relatively simple,” Phelan says, adding that the Park District of Oak Park might likely weigh in on the school’s pool plans.
Fellow D200 board members requested a meeting prior to Aug. 28, to vet the final proposal before taking a vote. Phelan said members will have the proposals to study prior to the August meeting dates.