Westlake elementary students to kick off school year in new $36.5 million state of the art building

The district has consolidated four old elementary school buildings into one new facility.
Updated: Aug. 23, 2019 at 4:44 PM EDT
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WESTLAKE, Ohio (WOIO) - When Westlake elementary school students head back to school next week, they won’t be going back to their old schools.

The Westlake City School District is consolidating four old elementary school buildings into one new facility. Voters approved a bond to help pay for the $36.5 million dollar building.

The new facility is state of the art, according to Dr. Scott Goggin, Westlake Schools Superintendent and a former special education teacher.

“Whatever grade you are in, you get one area specific to you so the only time you leave this area is to go to lunch, P.E., art, music or out to the playground,” said Dr. Goggin.

The new school will hold 1,200 elementary students.

Goggin says the building was carefully designed to still have a small school feel. The classrooms are set up so first and second graders, as well as third and fourth graders, will have what they call their own ‘house’.

Students will spend 90% of their day inside their ‘houses.’ There are also media rooms within their specific areas.

For students who sometimes can’t sit still, the new school has wobbly chairs. There are document cameras set up in the classrooms that show up onto the projector, along with iPad charging stations.

“This building is not only designed with the technology that we need, but it’s also designed to provide the services for how we’re educating for the future,” explained Goggin.

The bus riders will be dropped off just outside their designated ‘houses,’ so students can walk right into their classrooms.

The cafeteria, which can also open up into the gym, is divided by portable walls, making space for bigger school-wide events.

Goggin says input from parents, staff, and teachers was key.

First grade teacher Karen Glesius, who has been an educator for more than 20 years, says she loves the new facility.

“The storage is amazing,” said Glesius. “The accessibility for the kids is great, They’ve got their room to play, to move significantly better than our old school, and it’s air conditioned, which is really nice.”

Each grade will also have its own principal and counselor.

The first day of class is Thursday, Aug. 29.

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