RECAP: Sunset Hills Community Information Meeting

On October 20, 2016 at 6:00 pm, Project Advocates along with Westside’s Major Facilities Plan leaders, held a community information session at Sunset Hills Elementary and  updated the public on the status of plans regarding Sunset Hills Elementary School as outlined in the 2015 bond.



To start the meeting Project Advocates reviewed the current activities that were occurring on the Sunset Hills project.  These activities were presented as follows:

– Soil hauling from Oakdale Elementary continues and has resulted in a cost savings of approximately $200,000.  Assuming weather allows, crews should complete the soil hauling operations by the end of October.  CLICK HERE for further details regarding locations and benefits of soil haul.

– The playground has bee relocated to the east side of the current elementary to allow for the new elementary surcharge operations.

– Soil that has been transported to Sunset Hills will be placed into a surcharge that will compact the foundations for the new school.  This area will be fenced off and secured.



TACK Architects presented the latest design update that was approved by the Board of Education on October 17, 2016.  These design development updates were:


– TACK Architects and the Design Advisory Committee reviewed District goals and the elements that make Sunset Hills unique.

– Color will be a key component of the interior of Sunset Hills.  Different color combinations will help identify grade levels and different activity zones throughout the building and will provide easy ways for students to find their way from the moment they enter the building.

– The opening of the stage area has been widened.  There will be a folding partition to separate the elective classroom from the gym.  The new folding partitions have undergone numerous improvements throughout the years and the sound ratings (STC) are comparable to a standard drywall wall.

– The layout of the school is divided into two separate spaces with most classrooms occupying the southern half of the building.  The classroom wing is also designed to be closed off for security.

-The new Sunset Hills Elementary will be approximately 54,600 square feet as compared to 28,000 square feet at the current facility.  Some of the additions to the new facility will include:

– Upgraded storm shelters

– Improved Special Education spaces

– Dedicated elective classrooms


– A ‘twinkling lights’ effect will be carried throughout the building.  Glass windows will create this effect in some areas and light fixtures will be utilized in others.

– The existing Sunset Hills monument sign will be relocated to the east side directly across from the main entry.

– Sergeant Erin Payne with Omaha Police has reviewed all elements of security (CLICK HERE for more information).  There will be security cameras located around the building and plans for others roughed into the design to be added as funds allow.

– City of Omaha requires approximately 450lf of onsite queing to move traffic flow onto Sunset Hills property and off of surrounding neighborhood streets.

– Lighting for parking lots and building exterior are being upgraded from what is currently in place, and provide better controlled light spill.  Pool will also use west parking to keep cars from parking on street.  The hard surface play area will be gated and utilized as overflow parking when needed.

– Playground will consist of a hardtop surface play area, structured play, soccer field, green space and fenced in structured play area for Early Childhood Center.  Additionally, the storm water retention system can be utilized as an outdoor classroom/learning area.  The soccer field will remain unfenced and accessible to the students and community after hours.



– Project Advocates along with Westside’s Major Facilities Plan leaders have held multiple community meetings throughout the design process.

– Parking lots will remain the same, closed at 10:00pm.

– During the summer, Sunset Hills pool will be able to utilize the parking lot on the west side of the new building for parking.

– During Sunset Hills construction the District will be utilizing the soccer field at the swing school and baseball field at Westgate Elementary.  Additionally, the District is in discussion with the City of Omaha about managing Towl Park  baseball fields.

– The new Sunset Hills Elementary will be completed in August 2018.


We welcome your comments, questions and concerns.  CLICK HERE for more information.