The ad hoc swimming pool committee at Oak Park and River Forest High School has far exceeded its charge of choosing a buildable site to construct a new pool complex and is now contemplating a vast remaking of the southern third of the current school building.

Yikes. We thought limits were being pushed when the school’s previous pool committee was eyeing pools in the $35 million range. Now we’ve got an ad hoc committee talking demolition of the entire field house and costs that have rocketed past $100 million.

This is lunacy.

Unless you are one of the folks in town who believe that a modern swimming pool is a luxury being perpetrated by the greedy parents of the 100 top competitive swimmers, then you’d likely agree with us that OPRF must have a new pool. This discussion was never intended to involve replacing the field house. Previous committees at OPRF have specifically separated discussion of the field house and the pools as unrelated.

The pool committee met Monday night, after press time. Perhaps Chairman Jeff Weissglass managed to refocus this group on the issue at hand. The ad hoc group was charged with making recommendations on a site and submitting costs to the school board just a week from now. At this moment that seems unlikely. 

One measure of good governance is the ability to simply make a choice. We know that each option on the table has pros and cons. That does not mean the perfect solution remains undiscovered. It means that building a needed pool on a landlocked campus at a price that is anywhere near affordable will require some compromise. 

Get to it. Move on. This school has other issues to tackle. 

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