Westshore families now have a site to accommodate future schools for their children, Education Minister Rob Fleming announced today.
The Government of British Columbia has provided the Sooke School District with $23.3 million toward the purchase of 6.5 hectares (16 acres) of land in Langford. The district’s goal is to build an elementary school and a middle school on the site. The site is at the corner of Westshore Parkway and Constellation Avenue in the Westhills development.
Langford’s population is rapidly growing, and the Sooke School District projects an increase of 1,800 students in the next five years. New space needs to be added to ensure the area’s next generation can learn in positive, healthy and safe schools.
Building a new middle school will be the district’s first priority on the site, which will ease space pressures at both Dunsmuir Middle and Spencer Middle schools.
The next priority will be to build an elementary school on the site to address the shortage of kindergarten to Grade 5 spaces that has been brought about by an influx of young families to the Royal Bay Secondary school catchment area.
The Province will work with the Sooke School District to explore the best options for new schools.
Government is committed to accelerating capital investment and reducing the use of portables as a long-term solution for students in fast-growing communities like Langford.
Premier John Horgan, MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca –
“We’re pleased to invest in the future of Langford students. Our government is working closely with rapidly growing school districts like Sooke to eliminate portables and provide students with the best facilities to meet their needs. These choices will give kids great places to learn and grow.”
Rob Fleming, Minister of Education –
“It is extremely important to me that students can attend school in positive environments, and that is why we have worked with our education partners to make this investment happen. This government is making sure that portables aren’t the solution to growing student populations. Acquiring a site is the critical first step in accommodating students in growing communities.”
Ravi Parmar, chair, Sooke Board of Education –
“The Sooke School District continues to lead the province in per capita growth. Families are choosing the Westshore community for outstanding educational and recreational opportunities. We are grateful to government for helping us deal with the sustained, rapid enrolment growth we have been experiencing. Eliminating portables with permanent buildings will ensure our students have great schools for the next 50 years.”
Jim Cambridge, superintendent of schools, Sooke School District –
“It is heartening to see that government recognizes the growth that our district has been experiencing. The district has the experience and know-how to build these much-needed schools as quickly as possible. Opening two secondary schools on time and on budget taught us how to quickly respond to our growing community.”
- The Budget 2017 Update commits $1.7 billion over the next three years to maintain and replace schools, build more student spaces in growing communities and seismically upgrade schools.
- B.C.’s total education budget for public and independent schools is $5.9 billion in 2017-18. This is a record $314-million (5.6%) increase over the 2016-17 fiscal year.