Forest Station school is located at 1010 Childs Road W and is the fourth elementary school built within the city limits of Bellevue, Nebraska.
Originally, the location for Forest Station was considered at the site of the former Sears building within the old Southroads mall. When negotiations for that site fell through, Omaha Public Schools purchased the land on 10th and Child's road. At that time, a portion of the land belonged to the Pendleton factory, which now sits adjacent to Forest Station on the northeast corner.
Construction of Forest Station kicked off in 2018, but because the school had not yet been named and the property sat at the intersection of Fort Crook and Child's road, the school was routinely referred to as 'Fort Crook' during the majority of the building process, and in fact several prints referred to the project as 'Fort Crook' even at completion. It was not until a naming committee, (which included fourth grade student, Eva Pichardo-Lara, from Gomez Heritage Elementary school) recommended the official name of "Forest Station" to the school board in April of 2021 that the building name of Forest Station became official.
The cost of building Forest Station was 21.3 million. It was designed by architect, Kenneth Hahn and construction was completed by Hausman construction. This project was part of a 400 million dollar bond approved by the voters of Omaha in May of 2018. The bond was specifically intended to relieve overcrowding in numerous OPS schools. Forest Station would adjust the boundary lines of both Babe Gomez Elementary School and Chandlier View Elementary School, significantly altering their overpopulated buildings.
Forest Station sits directly west of Fontenelle Forest. This wooded area is home to hundred-year-old trees, deer, owls, frogs, and other wildlife. With the close proximity of the forest to the school, the naming committee knew 'Forest' needed to be included within the name in some capacity.
Forest Station has two active Union Pacific railroad tracks which run along the east side of the property. Train horns can be heard throughout the school day, which is unique in such an urban setting. The naming committee reflected upon the significance of the distant sound of the traveling trains and felt this symbolized the hope of something new and different to come in the future. It was decided in April of 2021 to officially name the school Forest Station Elementary.
At capacity, Forest Station will serve more than 600 students in Early Childhood through fifth grade from the Omaha Public School district. The first class of Forest Station Owls will begin their journey in August, 2022 with Principal Shelly Burghardt and 20 other classroom teachers.
The colors selected for the school were dark green, representing nature and green trees; white, symbolizing something new and fresh; and tan, signifying balance.
The mascot chosen was the Owl. Owls are known to be great thinkers, preferring to plan out a strategy rather than using force. Like this beautiful bird, Forest Station Owls are sure to be known for their wisdom and knowledge as well!