Letter: The Mercedes pool referendum

Contrary to results of its own objective public opinion survey, the OPRF high school board has again chosen a Mercedes solution for its aging pools over a pragmatic one. The pragmatic pool plan meets all student needs and provides more community pool time. This school board decision is fiscally irresponsible and wasteful.

The chosen $44.5 million solution demolishes the existing garage and builds a narrower one with 61 fewer spaces. We're still paying for the existing garage, which has 25 more years of serviceable life. The plan's smaller garage is senseless. Parking in the Hemingway District grows ever tighter, and 10 percent more students are expected by 2020. The board plans to take 61 spaces along South Boulevard. But students should use those spaces rather than parking along Chicago Avenue, blocking sightlines and causing predictable accidents. The Mercedes solution also deprives the school and community of a garage for two years.

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OPRF studies show preference for pool renovation

Information gathered by Oak Park and River Forest High School officials shows a preference by voters for the school to simply renovate its existing pools rather than construct a new aquatics center.

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