Building renovations continue at OPRF

This past summer, improvements to the school building have started to take place. The construction is taking place as part of the Imagine OPRF plan, and has affected groups such as the girls tennis team.
OPRF’s Director of Communications Karin Sullivan said the Imagine OPRF process started after a failed referendum in 2016. “We had a referendum to do some facilities work that involved primarily the pools, and performing arts class spaces. 35,000 people voted in that referendum and it failed by 28 votes.”
After the referendum, the Board of Education approved Imagine OPRF in Dec. 2018, a plan made with input from students, parents, teachers, staff, and community members. The plan has 5 phases that work together in a way that Sullivan describes as a “domino effect”.
Project 1, which is currently underway, is “very student focused [and] very academically focused.” It includes renovations to the general education classrooms and spaces for special education students, the student resource center, the south cafeteria, and the main entrance.
“Right now we’re working on the SRC [Student Resource Center] so the [cafeteria] has been torn down, almost all the way down,” said Ronald Anderson, the executive director of operations.
“Once the new cafeteria is installed, it will also include the new library and the new makerspace and SRC center on the 2nd and 3rd floors,” said Director of Construction Jeff Bergmann. The old library and tutoring center will be turned into new classrooms.
“Things are going relatively well and the way we planned, it’s a big process and it takes a while to do, but we’re on schedule,” said Bergmann.
One group impacted by the construction is the girls tennis team, who only has access to four out of their usual eight courts at the school. “We’re not happy,” said head coach Fred Galluzzo. This, in addition to the pandemic, has caused difficulties for the team. “There’s just a variety of issues.”
According to Galluzzo, parents came to meetings with administration members and representatives for the construction contractors last winter. Despite the concerns, the tennis courts have been occupied by construction.
Sullivan has been able to see some of the construction that has been done and describes it as “super exciting.”
“I think it’s gonna be a phenomenal space for our students,” she said.