Opening Celebrations Bring Excitement
No matter which direction you looked, there was something new to see. Vibrant paint colors, shiny floors, modern furniture and fixtures – everything you would expect when touring a new school for the first time.
“I’m so happy I’m here,” said Brooklynn Freeman, who will be one of the first to attend Westview High this August. “I’m grateful. I love it.”
Freeman and another future Westview Wolverine, Stella Williams, received a ceremonial key to the school during the celebration, where they also unveiled the dedication plaque.
“It’s a really nice building, and I’m excited to come here,” said Williams, an incoming freshman at Westview.
The energy Freeman felt earlier this month was multiplied as she joined hundreds for an opening celebration at Westview High, one of the Omaha Public Schools two new high schools.
“It feels amazing,” Freeman exclaimed. “I’m so blessed. I can’t say this enough. I’m so blessed.”
Just days before, Buena Vista High opened its doors to a crowd of guests excited to be part of history.
“We’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time,” said Carrie Carr, Ed.D., Buena Vista’s first principal. “Our community is very excited [about] this, and they’re very proud of it.”
This August, Buena Vista and Westview open alongside Forest Station Elementary and Pine Elementary. A new middle school, Bluestem, opens in August 2023. Each school is an investment from the Omaha Public Schools bond program. The $409.9 million bond, approved by voters in 2018, allowed our district to build new schools and improve many others.
“We are grateful for your trust in our board and our district leadership to provide this important investment for the students that we serve,” Board of Education President Shavonna Holman, Ed.D., told the crowd at Westview. “Thank you to our community for making all of this possible.”
The bond projects include many new and improved spaces that directly benefit the families of Omaha Public Schools and our community.
“Building schools is not what today is about; rather, it is a legacy for those not yet known to us,” Omaha Public Schools Superintendent Cheryl Logan, Ed.D., shared during her remarks at Buena Vista’s opening celebration. “All of the work here – from welding to electrical – has been done for our young people. It has always been about them. So, while we may enjoy the bricks and mortar, it is just that until the kids get here.”
Though work remains to prepare each new school for the year ahead, the opening celebrations marked an important milestone in the bond program.
“We want to show everyone in the community that the Omaha Public Schools is strong, well, and alive and doing good things,” said Westview Principal Thomas Lee.
Lee is excited about the opportunities available for students throughout our district and the resources offered by community partners, like the YMCA of Greater Omaha and OneWorld Community Health Centers.
“We’re going to carry each other, we’re going to help each other, we’re going to support each other,” said Lee. “It is going to be about ‘how can we work together for our community to get ample opportunities for our kids to get involved and to learn?’”
Opening celebrations for the Omaha Public Schools new elementary schools will take place later this summer. A comprehensive list of other bond program projects is updated regularly on our website.