Westfield council to consider rezoning of land for future school use


A rezoning request by Westfield Washington Schools for nearly 97 acres of land the district wants to build a second middle school on will now head to Westfield City Council for final approval.

The city’s Advisory Plan Commission voted March 6 to send a positive recommendation to rezone 96.46 acres at Ind. 32 and Centennial Road to the council. The council’s next meeting is set for 7 p.m. March 13.

The district announced in January that it plans to build a new elementary and new middle school under a plan called Destination Westfield. Under the proposed plan, district officials would build a new elementary school at 171st Street and Towne Road, while a second middle school has been proposed for the land targeted for rezoning at Ind. 32 and Centennial Road with the possibility of an elementary school also on the site.

The parcel of land at Ind. 32 and Centennial Road is approximately $5.9 million, although a purchase hasn’t been finalized, according to Brian Tomamichel, assistant superintendent for business and operations with the district. The purchase is expected to be completed sometime this spring, he said.

Tomamichel said in a previous interview he anticipates a bond would be needed to purchase the land, while another bond would be necessary for the construction of any buildings on the property. The district’s plans mean that its tax rate would remain unchanged, he added.

As part of the district’s Destination Westfield plans, officials want to keep fifth grade in elementary schools and move sixth grade to middle school. However, that change isn’t expected to occur for a few years, according to the district.

The district also plans to convert the Westfield Intermediate School into an eighth elementary school and renovate or rebuild Shamrock Springs Elementary School. A renovation of Carey Ridge Elementary School will get underway this spring to expand capacity to serve students and families in the school’s special education program, according to officials.

The district is also plans to have public meetings to receive feedback regarding its overall vision moving forward, said Joshua Andrews, spokesman for Westfield Washington Schools.