Westgate Elementary School opened in 1957 and was made up of one main building and several cottages along Westgate Road. The cottages were used for special needs students. District 66 was the first to have a school for students with special needs. At that time, there were approximately 866 students enrolled in Westgate. Because the school became so crowded, trailers were used as temporary buildings.
In 1975 a nasty disaster struck. After school was dismissed, a tornado struck the area and demolished many houses. Westgate was also in the path of the tornado. The school was a 100% loss according to the insurance company. It was lucky, however, that no students or teachers were hurt in the destruction. The district rebuilt the school during the summer vacation and Westgate was reopened prior to the new school year. Westgate now boasts one of the only school tornado shelters in the metropolitan area built underneath the school gym.
Today Westgate’s enrollment hovers around 300 students in grades kindergarten through sixth grade. The principal of Westgate is Ryan Broshar. Since the rebuilding in 1975, Westgate was renovated and added a new entrance, playground, media resource center, production center, and three new classrooms.