Last chance to chime in on the pool this month

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By Michael Romain

Staff Reporter

The District 200 school board will hold the second of two community meetings on July 20, from 7 to 9 p.m., at Dominican University's Aula Auditorium, 7200 Division St. in River Forest. Free parking will be available in the east parking lot or along Circle Drive's visitor parking area.

This is the second round of public meetings on the pools. The first round, held in April, gathered public feedback that allowed district officials to narrow possible construction scenarios from four options to two. An additional third option, which calls for the construction of an underground pool beneath the baseball field, was added after those meetings were held.

Option A: Replaces existing pools with a 25-yard competition pool and a smaller practice pool, expands performing arts to accommodate enrollment, renovates boys' gym locker rooms and improves learning spaces. The plan will also repair the existing parking garage at an estimated cost of $271,000, which may extend the structure's life for another 25 years. The plan's total estimated cost is $39.9 million.

Option B: Replaces the pools with a new 40-meter pool, and a new 331-space garage, on the existing garage site; eliminates the east and west pools, and repurposes that natatorium space; and includes all of the long-term capital projects noted above. The plan's total estimated cost is $52.3 million.

Option C: Constructs a 40-meter underground pool beneath the baseball field while eliminating the east and west pools, and repurposing that natatorium space. It also repairs the existing garage space at an estimated cost of $271,000, possibly extending the structure's life for another 25 years. The plan includes all of the long-term capital projects noted in Option A. This plan's total estimated cost is $64 million.

The board is seeking public input ahead of a funding referendum in the Nov. 8 election. The district has until Aug. 22 to submit the exact wording of the referendum question that will go on the ballot.  

Michael Romain

Contact:
Email: michael@oakpark.com

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Jeff Schroeder from Oak Park  

Posted: July 19th, 2016 3:05 PM

The more salient question is how much additional annual property tax would result from each of the three different borrowing scenarios for the average Oak Park household. The second question is whether or not this kind of major expenditure is appropriate or reckless in these uncertain times of government funding. Is there a $20 million option that brings the two existing pools up to modern standards?

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