Westwood View Elementary School will be getting a small addition to accommodate the security changes being made to all of the Shawnee Mission schools. Along with the bump out of the front entry, work also will be done to expand the kitchen and cafeteria area. Elementary schools in the district are slated to all have working kitchens.
The plans for Westwood View were submitted by the district to the Westwood Planning Commission for approval of a final site plan, which was approved Monday night. The drawings show a 420 square foot addition that will bump out the entrance by nine feet. According to the staff report prepared by Westwood, the new addition will allow for the inner doors to be locked after school starts and require visitors to pass through into a reception area to be admitted into the building. That process is in keeping with the new procedures added to school buildings during the security upgrades.
The expanded kitchen will be built in the western end of the downstairs area now used mostly for storage and custodial functions. New windows will allow more natural light into the cafeteria area.
The capital investment in Westwood View is significant because it had been on suggested school closure lists a number of times over past years. However, Superintendent Jim Hinson, after arriving in Shawnee Mission, had declared that he had no plans to close the school.