Bellevue Senior High School saw a steady increase in student populations. Overcrowding became an issue in the 1970s and in 1973 a citizens' committee evaluated existing and future building and curricular needs for the Bellevue Public Schools. The committee recommended a building program and a fifteen million dollar bond issue to help with construction. This was the largest bond issue ever put to a vote in Bellevue. In September 1974, the bond issue passed. A ten-year projection of populations and student growth called for additions to several existing schools. But the biggest project was for a new $6 million high school to open for the 1977-78 school year.
The new high school was completed as a single project, something that had never happened in Bellevue. Bellevue's new second high school opened in August 1977. The compass was the clue for renaming Bellevue Senior High School, as it became Bellevue East. The new high school became Bellevue West. The building was an innovative, functional design that was called an educational complex.
This new $6.3 million school was the result of the largest bond issue ever passed in Nebraska for a new high school, Bellevue's first, complete new high school. The Bellevue Leader praised the staff and community leaders who worked on the plans, the school board for "having the wisdom to approve the expenditure," and "the countless taxpayers whose hard-earned dollars represent the ultimate commitment to building a quality education program."