Shawnee Mission district pursuing purchase of Entercom property for future Westwood View Elementary school site

Westwood View, which sits on five acres, saw an increase in enrollment this year.
Westwood View, which sits on five acres, saw an increase in enrollment this year.

The Shawnee Mission School District has made an offer to purchase the eight-acre Entercom property across the street from Westwood View Elementary School.

“The school district has been in conversation with representatives of the owners of the Entercom property, however, a formal agreement has not yet been reached,” said district spokesperson Leigh Anne Neal.

Westwood Mayor JohnYé said last week that at least four offers have been made on the property, including the offer from the school district. The present Westwood View school sits on five acres and has 296 students enrolled this year.

Shawnee Mission Superintendent Dr. Jim Hinson told the Westwood View PTA in October that the district had made inquiries about purchasing the Entercom property at 50th Street and Belinder as a potential location for a new Westwood View building. Hinson had said more than two years ago that the chances of Westwood View closing were “slim to none.” The school had popped up on closing lists for decades.

A senior housing project proposed for the Entercom site did not receive a positive review from the Westwood Planning Commission early last year. The city also has created a new zoning district that would allow more dense housing. It is believed a school site would meet a more favorable review from surrounding neighborhoods.

An Urban Land Institute workshop conducted for Westwood last May showed an option with a new Westwood View school on the Entercom property and housing on the site of the current school. School district representatives were interviewed as part of the ULI project and have been in close contact with the city about plans for redevelopment. The Entercom property has been a controversial spot in the neighborhood for a number of years.

The Westwood View site is adjacent to the city’s Dennis Park and the church property the city purchased.

“Any rebuilding or significant facility changes to Westwood View would require a bond referendum in the future, so there is no plan for any immediate changes at Westwood View,” Neal said.