After two years of discussion, plans have been approved to build a new pool and aquatics center for Oak Park and River Forest High School and surrounding community members.
The new two-story facility will replace the two current pools at the high school, which are 90-years-old and past the typical 40-50 year life span of a competition pool. This new facility will be built where a parking garage sits, at the corner of Lake Street and Scoville Ave. The garage will be removed, and the pool will be connected to the high school via a second-floor corridor.
The Oak Park and River Forest High School District 200 Board of Education’s decision to approve the construction of a new pool was informed by several years of research and a detailed study conducted last fall by a special board committee. Research found that renovating the pools would cost $19 million and would result in reduction in pool size and capacity in order to meet current safety codes.
According to the news release, the approved plans are estimated to cost $37.5 million and will produce a 49,800-square-foot aquatic center with an 11-lane, 50-meter “Olympic-sized” pool. The board approved a resolution to fund the project with up to $20 million from available fund balances plus non-referendum bonds in an amount of up to $17.5 million. The impact for an owner of a $400,000 home will be an additional $76 per year in property taxes.
Construction of the pool is planned to begin in summer 2016, with completion in time for the 2018-2019 school year.
No decision has been made on how to use the space of the two former pools.