A new Westwood View Elementary School building is under construction.
Community members gathered on Wednesday, May 26, 2021, to hold a ceremonial groundbreaking for the building. Westwood View students performed songs and took a shovel to the construction site, drawing the applause of educators, family and community members in attendance.
“Students, we are all glad to see you here today and I want you to know that your community supports you,” Superintendent Dr. Mike Fulton told the assembled crowd. “We all want you to have the best learning experience possible, and that’s why we are building a new school right where we are today.”
Westwood View is being rebuilt as part of the $264 million bond referendum approved by voters this year. The new building will be located not far from the current Westwood View site, at the intersection of Booth and 50th streets in Westwood. The Westwood View school community took part in the design process, to make sure the new building would serve students well. Design aspects were implemented with the district’s strategic plan objective at the forefront: That each student will have a personalized learning plan that will prepare them for college and careers, with the interpersonal skills they need for life success.
Westwood View will feature:
- Flexible learning spaces for student collaboration
- Technology integrated throughout the building
- LEED certification
- Outdoor classrooms and dining area
- Safety and security installed to district standards
- A soccer field, walking trails, and playground equipment that is ADA accessible
Westwood View is among five elementary school buildings that will be rebuilt as a result of the 2021 bond. John Diemer Elementary School is also scheduled to begin construction in 2021, followed by Pawnee Elementary School. Rushton and Tomahawk Elementary Schools are planned for rebuilds in 2023.
The bond has allowed for improvements across the school district, some of which will be under construction this summer. In the next few months, weight room additions and restroom renovations will be made at Shawnee Mission North High School. Shawnee Mission Northwest’s restrooms and commons area will be remodeled. Indian Woods will also undergo a restroom remodel and three-story addition.
Multiple buildings will receive heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) updates, playground replacements, roof repair and replacement, asphalt repair and overlay, security upgrades, furniture replacement, and carpet and floor tile upgrades. For a detailed outline of improvement locations, view this presentation from the April 26, 2021 Board of Education meeting. The referendum also allows the district to move custodial salaries from the operating fund into capital outlay, which will allow for the hiring of additional secondary teachers.
We are grateful to our entire SMSD community for supporting student success through the bond approval. This support is essential to the strength of SMSD schools.