This just in: The River Forest Village Board of Trustees has approved the sale of the former Hines Lumber property on Madison Street to OPRF High School for construction of a new pool facility. In an act of intergovernmental generosity, the parcel was sold for $1 on the stipulation that it be designated the River Forest Oak Park pool.

Many River Forest residents, however, still peeved over the long-running Roosevelt Middle School controversy, oppose the move. Noting the awkward acronym formed by the new name, they have dubbed the proposal the “RFOP Bellyflop.”

Meanwhile, the District 200 High School board announced it had sold naming rights for the new facility to the Shedd Aquarium (which will use the pool for occasional dolphin show fundraisers) and the Oak Park YMCA (which has been looking to expand their infant snorkeling programs).

In an unusual move, OPRF will pay Shedd and the YMCA for the naming rights in order to bring down their unusually high fund reserve — on the stipulation that YMCA politically correct its name. In which case, the new facility would formally be named the “River Forest Oak Park Shedd Aquarium/Young (and Old) Men’s (and Women’s) Christian (and non-Christian) Aquatic (and Terrestrial) Pool (and Billiard Hall).

The award-winning and innovative architectural firm Nagle Hartray, which did the Oak Park Public Library, has been approached about designing the new building — in the shape of a bottle-nosed dolphin (Shedd Aquarium’s suggestion). It is rumored that a gigantic version of Marc Stopeck’s “Pool Guy” from Wednesday Journal’s Shrubtown cartoon (said to be a favorite among OPRF board members) might be superimposed on the bottom of the pool, beaming up at the swimmers.

“I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before,” said board President John Phelan, a River Forest resident. “Siting a portion of our campus in River Forest makes so much sense.”

Phelan said the D200 board would vote on the proposal “as soon as we can wrap our heads around that name.”

Board member Sharon Patchak-Layman has already voted “No.”

Ken Trainor

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