Oak Park-River Forest High School begins $102 million wing construction

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Chicago Construction News staff writer

The Oak Park-River Forest (Illinois) district has started construction of a $102 million physical education wing at Oak Park-River Forest High School in Oak Park.

Construction is scheduled for completion by summer 2026.

The architect is FGM Architects.

Construction will include a new swimming pool as part of a total demolition of the physical education facilities at the southeast corner of the Scoville Avenue campus.

Gilbane Inc. was selected last year to manage the $102 million Project 2 construction project that will tear down and rebuild the school’s southeast corner and include the construction of a new 10-lane swimming pool.

The contractor was chosen from a field of five construction management companies that submitted proposals.

“Gilbane checked all the boxes in terms of successful project completion, management on both large scale projects as well as experience with pools being involved with the project and also have a really leading edge focus on diversity and equity in the construction process as well so they really checked all the boxes for our community,” Tony Arbogast, OPRF’s assistant superintendent for business services said in a statement.

“They came highly recommended from other districts.”

The new wing will include:

  • Larger, multiuse gyms that also can serve as a competition spaces
  • A 25-yard-by-40-yard pool to replace two 1928 pools, which are at the end of their life
  • All-gender locker rooms for gender non-conforming students
  • An elevator that complies with accessibility requirements
  • A multipurpose/dance gym to replace the existing studio
  • A weight room that addresses capacity limitations
  • PE classrooms, PE and athletics offices, PE equipment storage, and a conference room
  • A new treatment room for athletic trainers

New locker rooms will replace the existing facilities, which have poor ventilation, plumbing problems, inadequate toilet space and privacy issues.

Student commons and pre-function space will be added, as well as improvements to the performing arts green room, which is not functional currently.

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