On behalf of some of the 3,400 students who circulate through the 100-year-old athletic buildings every day at OPRF, I implore the community and the District 200 Board of Education to support Project 2 of the Imagine Plan, which involves rebuilding the academic buildings that house various physical education classrooms, including the pool.

District 200 has a well-thought-out plan in place for this structure and the time to act is now. Right now, there is misinformation in the community that OPRF wants to build an Olympic-size pool. This is simply not true. The proposed replacement pool is conservative in size and completely appropriate for the number of students at OPRF. The currently existing poor facilities at OPRF impact the education of every student, and not just a small segment of extracurricular athletic teams.

We, as a school, have the resources and the ability to change these run-down conditions, yet for years the idea for a new academic building that just happens to house a pool has been cast away. Every student at Oak Park and River Forest High School uses the pool; it is a part of the physical education program. The lack of locker room space both in PE class and during after-school sports means students simply must figure it out for themselves where to find a space to change. Additionally, there is simply no privacy. I cannot imagine the difficulties students with non-conforming gender identities have in this public and open space when it is time to change clothes.

This is not the time to criticize District 200 for how we got to this point or why things have not happened sooner. Rather, the time to act is now, as for decades this decision has been pushed along to the next board of education. Our community has already waited so long …

“Those Things That are Best” does not mean we will be the best in the future; it means the Oak Park and River Forest community and the District 200 school board must be the best now.

Brad Huseby
River Forest
OPRF class of 2023

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