Westwood Elementary holds a place in the hearts of generations of Stillwater residents who attended classes and community events at the neighborhood school, located at 502 S. Kings St. The school has been the heart of the Westwood neighborhood since its construction in 1950 and, in spite of parking challenges and congested streets during pick-up and drop-off, neighbors rallied to ensure the elementary school remained in their neighborhood when Stillwater Public Schools announced it would be building a new school to serve that area.
As SPS prepares for the completion of the new building at Westwood and the final year for students and staff in the old building draws to a close, the district is giving the community a final chance to say goodbye to the original Westwood at a farewell open house on May 4, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
It’s an opportunity for the community to remember Westwood as it was while getting a preview of its new incarnation.
Selser Schaefer Architects will be showcasing the latest renderings of the new building and Nabholz Construction will be hosting an observation deck where people can check out the active construction, according to an SPS announcement.
SPS broke ground on the $26 million project a little less than a year ago. Project Manager for Selser Schaefer Architects Brian Thomas told Westwood students at the groundbreaking that the building was designed by their teachers to give students spaces that would be fun and exciting.
The theme of the new building is “community,” he said.
The new building will consist of 93,000 square feet in two stories and is one block over from the old site. The district bought and cleared 14 houses west of the school’s current location before construction began in May 2018. Once the new building is complete, the old building will be demolished and the area it occupies will become parking and outdoor space.
The new school building will accommodate 600 students, which isn’t significantly more than the current building but it features more flexible and usable space, improved security and greater safety, with two spaces to shelter during severe weather and enlarged areas for pick-up and drop-off.
Westwood students should begin the 2019-2020 school year in their new school.
People who want a memento of the old Westwood will have an opportunity to buy bricks from the original building when it’s demolished. The Westwood PTA will be taking orders for them during the open house.
The come and go event is open to the public.