Westchester Elementary, at 758 Scott Blvd. in Decatur, has been receiving upgrades and changes throughout the summer in order to transform the building back into classrooms for children in kindergarten through third grade. New Principal Rochelle Lofstrand said the community has embraced the change.
“This community and this school is very special to surrounding neighborhoods and from day one, about two years ago when it was announced Westchester would be reopening for this school year, the talk and energy in the community was exciting,” Lofstrand said. “For me, as the principal, seeing how involved the community has been and how everyone has rallied around the school and students for the entire summer is great.”
Lofstrand said minor changes were made to the building while it housed the school’s central offices, including temporary walls put up in former classrooms to make offices. But beautification projects, fresh paint and upgrades to technology systems, the cafeteria and the playground have been a few of the adjustments made to transforming the building back into a student-oriented atmosphere.
During the school year, the students will be involved with determining school colors and a mascot.
Growing enrollment, especially of elementary school-aged children, was one of the reasons the school is re-opening.
Thursday at 6:30 p.m., there will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the school. Lofstrand said former teachers and principals as well as current school board members will come out to speak about the school and celebrate its re-opening.
“People in the community have expressed how excited they are to see this school come alive with children again so I think the more people from the neighborhood who can attend the ribbon-cutting, the better the event will be,” she said. “The building will be complete, classrooms will be ready and residents can see the upgrades that have been made.”
On Friday, all city schools, including Westchester, will have a meet and greet day where students and parents can come out and meet their teachers.
The central offices for city schools is now at 125 Electric Ave. in Decatur.