Northwest High School ready to open for upcoming school year, LPS says

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – While it may still look like a work in progress, Lincoln Public Schools’ Northwest High School is on schedule to open in just a couple of weeks.

On Friday, staff was able to enter the new facility for the first time.  Principal Cedric Cooper says he will never forget the feeling of seeing everyone’s reactions.

“We have a lot of folks that are excited, our parents are excited, our staff they’re excited,” Cooper said. “It’s just continuing to keep everyone calm and just be patient and know that this is a process. It’s a building that has never been built before, so we have to have patience and just keep everybody calm.”

Scott Wieskamp, the director of operations for LPS, says they knew the schedule would be tight for trying to build the school in just two years.

But they got started early with the designs back in 2019 before the plot of land had even been purchased.

“We weathered a number of storms and challenges just to get the building done,” Wieskamp said. “So, hats off to the staff, the Hausmann construction team, our design team, Clark & Enersen, and even our own internal operations team that helped get the project done.”

An activities complex is also being built outside the school and will have a focus on football, track, and baseball.

There is still some development to do on that, but LPS expects to have the stadium done for the upcoming high school football season.

School officials say construction is ongoing but everything should be completed by the spring.

The school will be fully operational and safe for students by the first day of school on Aug. 15.

Wieskamp also talked about the designs for the interior of the school.

He says his teams worked with the community to come up with a design that’s modern and uses more open spaces to promote active learning.

Cooper says he thinks teachers will really be able to get creative and collaborative with how they teach their classes and that the new staff is ready and excited to see new students.

Dr. Paul Gausman, who is wrapping up his first month on duty as the new superintendent of LPS, says it’s always exciting to be starting a new school year and especially with this new school.

He also says while there are a few things that won’t quite be done yet, such as the auditorium of the school, he is very impressed with the pace at which the team completed the facility.

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