Westwood View Elementary School
- Shawnee Mission School District
- New Construction
- 72,000 SF
- $23 million
Situated in the historical town of Westwood, Kansas, Westwood View Elementary serves a tight-knit community full of rich history.
In need of an updated elementary school building, the design team was tasked with incorporating pieces of the town’s history into the new learning space, while creating a sense of belonging for students to identify with. The arched entry invites visitors in with brick and stone that complement surrounding homes in the tight-knit neighborhood. Environmental graphics with geometric shapes and bright colors are folded into the design of the building, offering teaching points by utilizing the building itself as a learning tool. Each classroom has a specific classroom identifier through wayfinding graphics on the glass outside their room, and teachers can incorporate the graphics into worksheets, connecting students to the building they call home.
Multiple outdoor classrooms offer spaces for students to take their art projects outside, learn about recycled stormwater and plants, or even host music practice outdoors. A large portion of students walk to school with their parents, so accessibility to the building with walking trails, community playgrounds and fields were a priority. On a nice day, you can find a pick-up game of soccer or tag taking place, while parents and students connect after hours. The new learning environment is awaiting LEED v4 certification, an achievement for buildings consciously designed to operate sustainably. The homey building is nestled into the existing neighborhood, seamlessly blending the new architecture with historical features and reflecting the true community involvement that brought Westwood View Elementary to life.