School board to vote on Westport Middle School proposal

The future of closed Westport Middle School will be a topic of consideration for the Kansas City school board next week.

The school is one of the closed Kansas City schools being offered for sale as part of the repurposing effort.

The repurposing office said in an email yesterday that the school board will be considering the sale to Kansas City Sustainable Development Partners (KCSDP) for reuse as a mixed-use development.

“KCPS received four proposals for the purchase of the Westport Middle school site.  After completing an assessment of the qualifications of the proposal teams and their development proposals, and factoring in the considerable community feedback gained through two rounds of proposal presentations, KCPS Administration is recommending the sale of Westport Middle to KCSDP,” the email said.

Kansas City Sustainable Development Partners is a partnership of local individuals including Bob Berkebile, David Brain, Michael W. Knight, Butch Rigby, Louis D. Steele and E.F. Chip Walsh. It wants to convert the building to 100 market-rate apartments, commercial space to house local nonprofits, and an urban farming/gardening center.

The repurposing office says the Sustainable Development proposal garnered the strongest support from local stakeholders who participated in the proposal presentations

“If approved, closing on the sale will take place before the end of the year.  The district will be required to hold two public meetings in coordination with the Southmoreland, Old Hyde Park and Hyde Park neighborhood associations in advance of any City Plan Commission or Board of Zoning Adjustment hearings related to the redevelopment of the project site.  This will give the neighborhood an opportunity to weigh in as the project progresses,” the email said.

Westport High School, just across 39th Street from the middle school, is also being repurposed. The district has not yet made a recommendation for its future.


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