Building the Future of OPRF
Welcome to the Oak Park and River Forest Imagine Foundation website. We’re glad you’re interested in learning more about the Foundation and our plans to help support facilities improvements at Oak Park and River Forest High School through philanthropy.
We at the OPRFHS Imagine Foundation believe that our students and community deserve a high school that makes us all proud. OPRF has long been a community cornerstone that keeps attracting new families to our villages. Investing in our high school is an investment in the future of our communities.
The Imagine Plan
Over the last 40 years, OPRF’s vintage facilities have not kept pace with changes in teaching and learning, and are in need of significant investment, renovation, and, in some cases, replacement. That’s why the school is undertaking major renovation, expansion, and partial reconstruction of its facilities to bring its 115+ year old building up to the 21st Century standards that OPRF students need and deserve.
The work is guided by the five-phase Imagine Long-term Facilities Plan. The product of a 17-month community-led planning process, the comprehensive Imagine Plan is designed to educate the whole student. The planned facilities support the full range of curricular and extracurricular activities that foster excellence, equity, and a sense of belonging at OPRF. The Imagine Plan will renovate and rebuild major sections of OPRF in five phases to be completed over a decade or more.
The Imagine Foundation was created by community volunteers who understand that the school district cannot cover the costs of the entire Imagine Plan out of its cash reserves, nor can taxpayers. The Foundation is an independent, registered nonprofit that works in partnership with the school to augment public investment with funds from private philanthropy.
Our strategy for supporting the high school is based on the knowledge that there are generous people – alumni, families, community members, and business owners – who will step up and invest in the future of OPRF through philanthropy.
Progress and Next Steps
Construction of Imagine Plan Project 1 is largely complete and has been fully funded with OPRF’s cash reserves. The results are stunning. The new and renovated spaces are excellent examples of how modern school facilities can support today’s learning, make students feel welcome, use space flexibly and efficiently, and create spaces for the full range of offerings at OPRF.
The next facilities improvements include building an outdoor track, providing softball and baseball with renovated fields (in cooperation with the Park District of Oak Park), and constructing Imagine Plan Project 2, a new Physical Education facility to replace the southeast corner of the current building. Replacing these large, century-old sections of the building will entail significant investment.
The Imagine Foundation is preparing to help through a major fundraising effort. The Foundation Board has been busy meeting with supporters individually, having small group discussions, reaching out to alumni, and gathering insights from other foundations that support public schools. The process has revealed a deep passion for OPRF among alumni and community members. Those people and their passion will power our fundraising efforts.
Please join us in supporting Those Things That Are Best at OPRF by filling out the contact form below. Be a part of the team working to build the future of OPRF.