KC School Board Agrees to Sell Westport Middle School

The historic campus will be transformed into the KC Center for Community Vitality, and not everybody is happy about it. Meanwhile, the battle over Westport High School rages on.

On Wednesday, Aug. 28, the Kansas City School Board agreed to sell Westport Middle School to the Kansas City Sustainable Development Partners by a 6-1 vote. The school district is still weighing its options for Westport High School across the street. 

The development group, led by architect Bob Berkebile, originally wanted to buy both schools to turn the entire property into its Center for Community Vitality, an elaborate mixed-use project that will feature new schools as well as residential units and community centers focused on healthy living and urban farming.

“We are piloting a new way of living, a new way of thinking and a new way of educating,” Berkebile told The Kansas City Star. 

However, the school board wasn’t ready to part ways with the high school just yet because it’s still considering other development proposals. Nevertheless, it decided to move forward with the middle school so as not to delay the sale. 

Berkebile’s group wasn’t the only development company wanting to buy both schools. Foutch Brothers LLC, which lists Academie Lafayette as a potential partner, also had plans to turn the property into a multi-use community with schools, homes and community centers. The company still has its fingers crossed that it will still nab the high school. 

Regardless of who wins the high school, Councilman Jim Glover told The Star that he wants to see both buildings repurposed as schools due to an influx in families moving to the area.

“The demographic flow of parents and families in midtown depends on it,” he said.