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Westside Foundation Receives Donation For New WHS Entrance

Posted Feb. 6, 2020

Story by Ava Van Gelder, Westside Wired News Editor

The Westside Community Schools Foundation recently received a donation from Robert B. Sturm, a Westside graduate of 1977, which will enable them to construct a new entrance to Westside High School. According to Developmental Director for the Westside Community Schools Foundation Terry Hanna, this new entrance will increase safety, security, organization and professionalism for the school.

“The [main] purpose of the [new] entrance is to up our security a little bit more,” Westside High School Principal Jay Opperman said. “We’ve done a good job [over the] last three to four years of improving overall security but there’s still an issue when someone comes in. We really don’t have a place to say, ‘you can’t get through before we verify what you’re here for.’”

With Westside’s new entrance, whenever a visitor enters the building, they will be greeted by a hall supervisor and will not have full access to the building. There will also be a phone line from the entrance to the attendance office, so if a parent needs to quickly pick up their student, the office can be notified. Hanna said the new entrance will provide a more professional first impression for visitors.

“[The new entrance will] provide a central location for teachers during their hall monitor responsibilities, and provide a single entry point [which serves] as a welcome center for visitors,” Hanna said. “It’s really just trying to make [the building] more professional-looking and more secure.”

Construction for the new entrance is expected to be done by March of 2020. Once the new entrance is complete, the main doors will continue to be open before and after school for events and activities that occur. Opperman said that safety is an important aspect of students’ learning environment.

“We want people to come to a school that they can feel safe at,” Opperman said. “It’s important to feel safe if you’re going to learn,” Opperman said.

According to Hanna, Sturm was very excited about the opportunity to support the high school and provide funding that will benefit the safety of everyone inside. He has fond memories of high school, and this development is his way of giving back.

“Westside is lucky to have generous alumni throughout the country who support the future of our great school district, students and teachers,” Hanna said.

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