Shawnee Mission Schools share details for building new Westwood View Elementary

Westwood View Elementary School

Shawnee Mission district officials are planning to submit design plans for the Westwood View renovation to the city of Westwood as soon as March 1.

As Shawnee Mission prepares for a complete rebuild of Westwood View Elementary, district officials are sharing their initial plans with the city of Westwood.

The district is currently working on a plan for the new elementary school, with the help of teacher and parent input, after voters approved a $264 million bond issue last month.

The new Westwood View will be relocated to 4935 Belinder Avenue, at the site of the former Entercom radio studios. Shawnee Mission purchased the site in 2016.

“We look forward to having the best Westwood View school possible,” Planning Commission Chairman Robert Junk said. “As others have said, we’ve worked for decades to get this done and we very much look forward to having the new school.”

Once the new Westwood View buildings is completed, the current Westwood View building will temporarily be used to host students from Rushton Elementary in Mission, who will be bused there while that school undergoes its own rebuilding.

Rough timeline for Westwood View

The district’s tentative timeline for the Westwood View’s rebuild is as follows:

  • submit building designs for planning commission approval by March 1
  • break ground in either June or July
  • complete the construction by December 2022.

Community input

Although some residents like Kent Peterson expressed their support not only for the school rebuild and the bond issue, others like Jan Kyle shared concerns.

Kyle, who lives on Belinder Avenue, said she supports rebuilding Westwood View Elementary but that she’s worried about it being built on the old Entercom site.

She expressed concerns about Belinder being able to handle the additional traffic associated with the new school.

Kyle said she’s never been given an explanation as to why the former Westwood Christian Church at 5050 Rainbow Boulevard couldn’t be the site of the new school — other than that the lot is slightly smaller.

“Belinder can only handle what it’s got now,” Kyle said. “It doesn’t need all that school traffic.”

Currently, Shawnee Mission is seeking input from the community via a ThoughtExchange survey and a cohort of teachers, principals and parents — which has contributed to 50% of the design process thus far, Shawnee Mission Deputy Superintendent Rick Atha said.

Information about a scheduled community forum on Feb. 13 at Westwood View Elementary will become available soon, Atha said.

The timeline for the design approval process is as follows, per city documents:

  • March 1: The planning commission will review the district’s site plan application package during a work session, and then provide comment to the district before making a recommendation to the city council.
  • April 5: The planning commission will make a recommendation of action to the city council.
  • April 8: The city council will formally consider the site plan for the new Westwood View building.