Building renovations move forward

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Photo by Tim Mellman

The new construction at OPRF

Substantial building improvements began in the summer of 2020 and continue as part of the $33 million Project 1 of Imagine OPRF, a five-part plan to improve the school’s facilities. The expected rooms and facilities for this year’s renovations are the library, tutoring center, cafeteria, eight all-gender restrooms, and a student resource center.

The two major renovations affecting students most are the tutoring center and library. Renovations for both locations are expected to be completed by the start of second semester over winter break, so neither will be closed any time during the school year. Librarian Amber Hooper said the library will be getting all new equipment. “The only thing moving from here to there is the books,” she says. The new library will also be located on the third floor near the balcony area above the South Cafeteria.

Renovations on the South Cafeteria are also ongoing. As of now, it is expected to be ready early January 2022. Students are sharing the North Cafeteria and the West Gym has been converted into a place for students to eat. A new policy to accommodate for the limited space also allows freshmen and sophomores to eat outside, but not leave campus. “The renovations were designed to create a student focused core,” said Karin Sullivan, OPRF’s director of communications. New tables and chairs on the first and second floors allow students to gather before, after, and during lunch.

OPRF expects no delays in construction. Executive Director of Operations Ronald Anderson said via email that by the end of Summer 2022, OPRF plans to “renovate north wing bathrooms, re-roof the northern part of the school, and continue the upgrades to the fire alarm and mass notification systems.” Soccer and tennis facilities will also be upgraded with new turf and courts, respectively.

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