When the 2022-2023 school year begins, Westwood View students and staff will walk into their brand-new elementary school building.
It will be one of many accomplishments to celebrate, following a busy summer of facility improvements. These improvements are funded by a $264 million bond issue approved by voters in 2021.
The district held a groundbreaking ceremony for Westwood View in May 2021, and construction began shortly after. This spring, Westwood View teachers took their first tours of the new school.
As she toured the building, fourth-grade teacher Sarah Harvey said she was grateful to everyone who has worked to make the new building a reality.
“I’m excited to see what is possible in this new space,” she expressed.
The new Westwood View building will feature:
- Flexible learning spaces for student collaboration
- Technology integrated throughout the building
- Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification
- Outdoor classrooms and dining area
- Safety and security installed to district standards
- A soccer field, walking trails, and universally inclusive playground equipment
Principal Kathy Keith celebrated the friendships and memories that have been built by the Westwood View community and encouraged everyone to keep that incredible spirit as moving day approaches.
“It is not the bricks and mortar that make Westwood View a special place,” Keith reflected. “It is the students, parents, teachers, administrators and community members that make the school very special.”
As Westwood View opens, work continues on other bond-funded elementary school rebuilds. John Diemer Elementary is expected to open in early 2023, with a new Pawnee Elementary expected to open in the summer of 2023. A groundbreaking for Rushton is scheduled for January 2023, and a rebuild of Tomahawk Elementary will follow.
The district also will soon celebrate the completion of:
- A 3-story addition and restroom renovations at Indian Woods
- A commons area remodel and restroom renovations at Shawnee Mission Northwest
- A weight room addition and restroom renovations at Shawnee Mission North
- Districtwide security upgrades
- HVAC replacements, playgrounds updates, and furniture replacement
In the 2022-2023 school year, SMSD anticipates the completion of remodels at Horizons, Westridge Middle School, Shawnee Mission East High School, and the Shawnee Mission Early Childhood Education Center. Upgrades on HVAC systems, playgrounds and furniture replacement also will continue.
The approved bond allowed for money previously spent out of the capital fund for new facilities to be covered with bond money. This allowed the district to shift custodial and maintenance salaries into the capital fund, freeing up money in the operating fund to hire additional secondary teachers to better support student learning. The district began the first phase of the adjustment in the 2021-2022 school year and has fully implemented the second phase of this adjustment for the 2022-2023 school year.
As work continues, community members can continue to find out more and view updates by clicking here.