Measure S is the school bond measure passed by Oak Park voters in November of 2016. Measure S allows OPUSD to issue $60 million of school facility bonds in a series of issuances in order for the tax rate to remain around $60 per $100,000 of assessed valuation. The first bond series was issued for$15 million in 2017 and kicked off the initial Measure S project. The initial project of $6.8 million was used to install the solar array structures at all of the school campuses. Other project the funds have been used for include continuing roof replacements, HVAC upgrades, major fencing upgrades at Oak Park High School and Brookside Elementary School, security cameras, new LED stadium lighting at Oak Park High School and other lighting upgrades at all sites. The architectural planning of the next phases of projects for Measure S are also being developed and finalized.
Another Measure S project recently completed is the remodel of the kitchen at Medea Creek Middle School. Building code updates required major upgrades in the kitchen. We decided to use the opportunity to upgrade the facility to provide a better space for the preparation of our scratch-cooked foods. The middle school students have been enjoying the newly remodeled kitchen since October 2018.
One of the major elements of Measure S is to replace aging portable classrooms with new buildings. Oak Park USD pioneered the use of the GrowthPoint classrooms made from recycled sea containers in 2013 with the construction of the ‘I’ building at Oak Park High School. OPUSD will issue $17 million in bonds in November for Phase II that includes projects at Brookside, Red Oak, and Oak Hills Elementary schools and Medea Creek Middle School.
We invite you to explore this website to have a look at all of the projects. We feel that we were able to accomplish much more than was originally projected due to careful management and oversight, lower than expected construction costs due to the recession, and lower interest rates on the bonds that have been issued. This has saved the local taxpayers money and allowed the school district to accomplish more work.
Finally, THANK YOU, to the Oak Park residents for your support of Measure R. We have much to be proud of in Oak Park Schools and ensuring we maintain truly world-class facilities for our students to learn is a high priority.
Anthony W. Knight, Ed.D.