Sooke School District zeroing in on land for 4 requested new schools
Facing explosive growth on the West Shore, the Sooke School District is seeking out land and government funding to build four new schools.
School District 62, which comprises Sooke, Port Renfrew, the Highland, Metchosin, Colwood and Langford, has seen enrollment spike dramatically amid a housing construction boom in the region.
Two new schools opened in 2015 but more are already needed, say district officials.
“We’re looking for, specifically, land for three elementary schools and a middle school in West Shore,” said Supt. Jim Cambridge.
The growth has been so exponential one of the new schools, Royal Bay Secondary, needed to add portable classrooms just one year after it opened.
SD62 is also requesting funding for a fifth project, a 600-seat addition for Royal Bay Secondary.
The district has submitted its request for funding to the Ministry of Education, but it will have to wait until February to see if all – or any – of the projects are approved.
“Well, generally speaking, we’re looking in south Langford, north Langford, the new Royal Bay area and central Langford,” said Cambridge.
Development plans in Royal Bay show that on the Metchosin side of Latoria Boulevard, a parcel of land has been earmarked for a future elementary school.
But the district says it can’t say which sites it wants to buy while negotiations are ongoing.
The province says areas seeing rapid residential growth take priority when it comes to adding classrooms.
“The Ministry recognizes the challenges presented by the rapid growth in the Sooke district, and is working closely with the district on finding ways to address those needs,” it said.
The statement also says the ministry is finalizing its province-wide capital plan, based on submissions from all 60 school districts.
With a report from CTV Vancouver Island's Yvonne Raymond