I’m writing in support of a long-term solution for the physical education and athletic facilities at OPRF High School.

Many of the current PE spaces are far beyond their intended lifespan, and no longer adequately serve the needs of students. Many of these spaces were built almost a hundred years ago, and it shows. Multiple classrooms, gyms, and pools are simply not properly configured for today’s needs, and certainly are not going to serve our students, families, or community in the future. I am a 1991 graduate of OPRF and am saddened that my children (current junior and freshman) are in the same PE facilities I used when I was a student there 30 years ago.

Many of the PE classroom spaces were built for separate use by boys and girls. They are so small they often do not accommodate all students. The locker rooms are simply abysmal, and the boys’ locker rooms are spread over four floors, creating a safety and supervision nightmare. OPRF has two small pools because, a century ago, one was reserved for boys, and the other for girls. Replacing the two current pools with one new pool would allow OPRF to serve all students, and meet both current and future needs.

It’s not exactly news to anyone that OPRF’s athletic facilities are aging and beginning to crumble. As a community, we’ve known about this for years, if not decades. Yet school board after school board has delayed taking any action.

I support the current D200 school board making an assessment of our current and future athletic facilities needs, and taking steps as soon as possible to address the problems.

The future of OPRF athletics depends on it.

Ann Harmon
River Forest

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