March 16 – BC Gov’t News Release:
Royal Bay Secondary students will get more space to learn and play, with a 600-seat expansion and a new gym, announced Minister of Education Rob Fleming.
“Our government is making sure that B.C. students get the quality education they deserve, and that means learning in a positive, healthy environment,” Fleming said. “For too long, investment in West Shore schools did not match the growth of the community. We are fixing this by adding student spaces in fast-growing areas.”
The Government of British Columbia is providing $23.2 million for an expansion, which will include 21 classrooms and a small gymnasium that will also be available for community use. The Sooke School District will contribute $2 million to the project.
“We are so happy the government is on top of how quickly our school district is growing,” said Ravi Parmar, Sooke School District board chair. “We have a lot of families moving into our district because of our schools, and we are thrilled to be able to give even more students an opportunity to learn in such an inspiring and beautiful space like Royal Bay Secondary.”
Construction on the school will begin this September. The additional student spaces are expected to be ready for classes in fall 2020.
Royal Bay was built in 2015 with capacity for 800 students, but is already operating at 135% of capacity. The school is projected to be at 177% by 2026, without an expansion. Bringing the school’s capacity to 1,400 will significantly reduce the future need for portables at Royal Bay and Belmont secondary schools.
Government has also invested $23.3 million for the Sooke School District to purchase land in Langford to support the district’s goal of building an elementary school and a middle school on the site.
“The expansion of Royal Bay Secondary supports the tremendous growth we’ve seen in the West Shore,” said Esquimalt-Metchosin MLA Mitzi Dean. “I am proud to be part of a government that is investing in growing communities.”
Government is working to get students into classrooms as quickly as possible in fast-growing communities by working with school boards and local governments to accelerate funding approvals and speed up school construction.
Budget 2018 provides an historic $2 billion over three years to replace aging schools, add more spaces in growing communities and fast-track seismic upgrades.
That includes a new $100-million Enrolment Growth Program envelope to add more classrooms in districts with rapidly growing enrolments that are at or exceeding their student capacity.