I took advantage of the May 9 open house at OPRF High School to tour the finished results of the Imagine OPRF Project 1 facilities, and I must say I am very impressed. The Welcome Center, Special Education Classroom, Student Common, Student Resource Center: Library and Makerspace and Tutoring Center, Learning Stairs, Student Balcony and South Cafeteria are all absolutely outstanding. There were students located at each area on the tour to describe the space and also answer questions, and I had several. As a person who does not have children or grandchildren at the school, it was very informative to see my tax dollars well spent.

Through my volunteer work with the Vietnam Veterans of America, I have had occasion to visit multiple area high schools, including Maine West, Elk Grove, John Hersey, Rolling Meadows, Ridgewood, Glenbrook North, and Oak Forest, and none of these schools can match the facilities I saw during my tour on May 9. Oak Park should be very proud of Imagine OPRF Project 1.

Unfortunately, that cannot be said of the last stop on the tour, which was the 1 East Gym; the renovation of which is to be included in Imagine OPRF Project 2. As a graduate of OPRF (Class of 1963), I was disappointed to see that the gyms and the pools are exactly the way they were when I was in school 59 years ago: outdated and barely functional. I was shown the female gym teacher’s locker room, which is about the size of a Starbucks ADA-accessible toilet, only the locker room is shared by 10 women. This is the best we can offer our District 200 employees? The PE teachers’ offices are a cramped joke. None of the gyms I was shown are functionally useful.

The problems with the pools are well known and well discussed. I look forward to the completion of Imagine OPRF Project 2 and I hope when finished it is just as spectacular as Project 1. I urge everyone to support OPRF Project 2.

Alan Krause
Oak Park

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