I have a freshman at OPRF High School and two younger children who will attend OPRF in the future. I am writing to share my strong support for Imagine OPRF Project 2.

I toured the completion of Project 1 and am thrilled with the outcome. The improvements made to the facilities thus far — renovation/construction of 75 classrooms, a revamped student commons area, a state-of-the-art student resource center, all-gender restrooms, and more — are thoughtful and pragmatic.

One of the things that struck me most during the tour of Project 1 was that the scope of the work was not outlandish or extravagant. There were no huge “bells and whistles,” rather simply modernized classrooms and communal spaces fit for today’s students.

Project 2 is no different. The plan for the complete rebuilding of the physical education facilities on the southeast corner of the school, although costly, is not outlandish or extravagant. It is thoughtful, pragmatic, and long overdue. All areas in this section of OPRF lack the features that should be found in a modern school environment.

During my tour I was shocked at the condition of the roof, HVAC systems, gyms, locker rooms, bathrooms, and pools, along with the lack of ADA accessibility, storage, and basic safety elements. What I observed made it clear to me that any attempt to continue to repair this area of the building is futile and that the Project 2 plan is the right thing for OPRF.

Just as the results of Project 1 benefit every student in the building daily, let’s not forget that completion of Project 2 will equally benefit every student, every day. The reality is that this entire section of the building is as much a classroom as is its refreshed science labs and it should be invested in as such.

I support OPRF’s efforts to upgrade all these spaces and to provide what’s best for our students, faculty, and community. I urge the District 200 school board to approve the Project 2 scope and move forward with it immediately.

Joyce Webster
Oak Park

Join the discussion on social media!