We are Oak Park residents and taxpayers with two children, an OPRF sophomore and a Brooks seventh-grader. We strongly feel District 200 must invest in the future of our community by proceeding with Funding Scenario 4 for Project 2 now.
OPRF High School has been a keystone institution for years, attracting a steady stream of young families to this community, making it the vibrant, diverse, and unique place to live that we enjoy today. The aspiration of sending our children to OPRF was the key reason for our family’s decision to relocate to Oak Park, as it has been for so many others.
Unfortunately, the age and current state of the building, particularly those spaces included in Project 2, means that urgent actions must be taken to ensure the future of this economic engine that drives our community. Our children may benefit, but our greater concern is that if we allow the high school to further decline, if we do not invest in one of our main attractions, we all risk losing the ability to attract and keep future families, thereby impacting our community as well as our housing values.
D200 has invested significant time and effort into the study of Project 2 and has clearly demonstrated the need to address the overdue facility improvements. The positive impacts on 3,400 students who use these facilities daily for physical education, the urgent need to address accessibility and equity concerns, the economic impact that quality schools provide to our community, and the need to avoid further costly expenses due to delay, all underscore the need to make the best decision and begin implementation of this project as soon as possible.
The Raymond James funding options review shows that the only option that would prevent the community from shouldering additional costs if we delay Project 2 — because costs continue to rise and the facilities continue to decline — is Funding Scenario 4.
Therefore, D200 must select Funding Scenario 4 to begin Project 2 immediately and avoid a referendum and costly delays.
John & Becky Fuller