Joint schools, parks administrative center draws objections in Oak Park
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Updated: October 28, 2012 6:13AM
OAK PARK — Some residents have taken issue with a proposed joint administrative center for Oak Park’s schools and park district.
Residents spoke at a community forum Wednesday to discuss the joint administrative building, proposed by the Park District of Oak Park and Oak Park School District 97.
District 97 School Board President Peter Barber and Park Board President Christine Graves outlined the proposal in a presentation that was similar to one presented to Oak Park village trustees last week.
Barber and Graves highlighted how residents have asked for more collaboration between the governing bodies.
“It’s a nice, natural step forward,” Barber said.
Residents attending Wednesday’s forum raised many concerns.
Martha Moylan and Kimberly Plaxton-Drobot each have children attending Longfellow Elementary School. Moylan believes money should be focused on new air-conditioning systems in the school.
“Use your capital funds to fix the schools first, then your building,” Moylan said.
Plaxton-Drobot seconded Moylan’s concern. She, and other residents, also emphasized how congestion will be a big problem to the community.
Barber responded by listing projects the district is doing at the buildings, including improving the school security systems.
Long-time resident Julie Samuels insisted the community will fight this proposal off as it has previous plans to build on the village hall parking lot, where the joint administrative center is proposed.
“We don’t want it here,” Samuels said. “It’s a residential neighborhood.”