West Shore students received two early Christmas presents today as Education Minister Don McRae and the Sooke board of education signed project agreements for Belmont and Royal Bay Secondary schools.
Several senior students at Belmont also gave the minister and visitors a glimpse of their woodworking skills during their visit to the school.
The new, $50.8-million Belmont Secondary will be built in the Glen Lake area to serve up to 1,200 students from grades 9 to 12. To meet growing student enrolment in the school district, the government is also building Royal Bay Secondary in Colwood. The $38.6-million Royal Bay Secondary will accommodate up to 800 students in grades 9 to 12.
These new facilities will support a wide range of programs, including opportunities to expand skills and trades training for students, which is a key focus of B.C.'s Skills and Training Plan. Currently, Belmont Secondary students can enrol in Accelerated Credit Enrolment in Industry Training (ACE-IT) programs in cosmetology and cabinetmaking.
The Sooke school district is considering additional programs such as culinary arts and automotive technician at the new schools. The district is also exploring links to the ship building industry with possible metal fabrication and marine trades training programs.
Both schools will also have Neighbourhood Learning Centres to provide various services to communities, such as a family support centre, health and wellness screening office, child-care facility and a multi-purpose room equipped with a community kitchen.
With the project agreements now in place, the school board will invite architectural and construction firms to submit their design-build proposals. Both schools are expected to open in fall 2015. The current Belmont Secondary will be demolished after these schools open.
Don McRae, Minister of Education -
"The Sooke school district is one of the few districts where student enrolment continues to grow each year. We are excited to move forward on Belmont Secondary and Royal Bay Secondary, particularly the interesting programs and services they will provide to students as well as their families."
"I had the opportunity to visit a woodworking class at Belmont Secondary and see some of their great projects today. It is estimated that 43 per-cent of the one million job openings in upcoming years will require trades and technical training. This is why we are working with school districts, post secondary-institutions and industry partners to help our students get a head start on their careers while they complete their high school education."
Wendy Hobbs, chair, Sooke board of education -
"We're a unique school district because we are consistently growing and progressing. These two new schools and Neighborhood Learning Centres will only add to the opportunities for both students and the community as a whole."
- Both schools will use B.C. wood as much as possible and be certified at Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) Gold standard.
- Since 2001, the B.C. government has committed more than $141 million in the Sooke school district to complete six capital projects, including $50.8 million to replace Belmont Secondary and $38.6 million for Royal Bay Secondary.
- The government has also provided more than $12.6 million for additional space for full-day kindergarten.
- Over the past year, the government has committed $353 million in funding for new school and school expansion projects and more than $122 million as part of its seismic mitigation program to provide structural upgrades at 14 high-priority schools.
- Since 2001, the government has spent more than $840 million on seismic upgrades of schools in 37 school districts.
- The Sooke school district (SD 62) currently has three school-based Accelerated Credit Enrolment in Industry Training (ACE-IT) programs: cabinet-making and cosmetology programs at Belmont Secondary and the professional cook program at Edward Milne Secondary.
- SD 62 is part of the South Island Partnership with Camosun College, which offers a wide range of post-secondary trades training opportunities to grades 11 and 12 students. Youth enrolled in these programs can receive credit toward their first year of college and certification while they complete their high school education.
Information on the new Belmont Secondary and Royal Bay Secondary: http://www.sd62.bc.ca/Schools/NewSecondarySchools.aspx
B.C.'s Skills and Training Plan: http://www.bcjobsplan.ca/skills-and-training-plan/
BC's Education Plan: http://www.bcedplan.ca/
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Education