USD 475 has been working hard to improve school facilities this school year. Geary County schools conducted an evaluation of all school buildings to determine what repairs and additions were needed, and has been working hard on completing that list of items.
The biggest item on that list was the need for a gym at Westwood Elementary School. Westwood has never had an official gymnasium, but they are about to have one, and soon. Construction of this addition started in May of 2019, as students left school for summer break.
The District Summer Work Program for 2019 included paving improvements at Sheridan, Spring Valley, and Washington Elementary schools, as well as JCMS and the Hauge/Heim buildings on the north side of town. It also included roof repairs at HD Karns and renovation of the restrooms of Ware Elementary. But, the new gym at Westwood was the big project, and it is almost complete.
The staff at Westwood received their first walkthrough of the addition just before the holiday break. The addition was designed by SJCF Architecture, and is being built by Hutton Constriction. The addition includes a 6,251 SF gym, as well as an additional 1,965 SF with new restrooms and a Life Skills room that includes kitchen equipment and a laundry facility.
David Wild, Chief Operations Officer for USD 475, has been following the progress of the addition closely. “We were able to complete the project on-time and under-budget, and that includes removing 4,100 SF of old, decaying asphalt playground surface and installing 14,600 SF of concrete along with three new exterior basketball goals.” Wild added that the playground equipment at Jefferson Elementary, which was closed at the end of last school year, has been moved and repurposed at Westwood, to compliment the new addition.
USD 475 and Westwood Elementary will be celebrating the completion of the construction with a ribbon cutting ceremony and student performance at Westwood Elementary on Wednesday, February 12th at 1:30 pm. The public is invited to attend this exciting occasion.