Hundreds of students are one step closer to learning in modern new classrooms, now that construction is officially underway on a 600-seat expansion of Royal Bay Secondary school.
“Students deserve the best educational experience possible, no matter where they live,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Education. “The expansion at this school will ensure students will be learning in modern, engaging classrooms, so they can fully benefit from our new curriculum.”
Students and staff joined Fleming and Mitzi Dean, MLA for Esquimalt-Metchosin, to celebrate construction beginning on the expansion.
“Families in our growing community expected that their new secondary school would accommodate their children inside the school,” said Dean. “It’s encouraging to see work underway at Royal Bay and for students to see the progress to getting out of portables and back into classrooms for the 2020-21 school year.”
Once complete in fall 2020, the Royal Bay Secondary school expansion project will bring 21 new classrooms to the school, along with a small gymnasium that the community can also make use of as a neighbourhood learning centre.
The Ministry of Education is providing $27.3 million for this project, while the Sooke Board of Education is contributing $2.6 million, for a total budget of $29.9 million.
“Being able to transition students out of the portables and into a large inclusive school for 1,400 students is exactly the type of learning space we envision for SD62 students and staff,” said Ravi Parmar, chair, Sooke Board of Education. “I’m pleased this government is showing its commitment to investing in fast-growing communities like ours, and we look forward to continuing to work closely with them on future projects.”
Royal Bay was built in 2015 with capacity for 800 students, but now has nearly 1,000 and is using over 10 portables. The expansion will bring the school’s total capacity to 1,400 and will take into account further enrolment growth projected in the area.
“This is great for our school,” said Ryker White, Grade 10 student at Royal Bay. “We’ve been fragmented with students in portables, so it will be great to have everyone under one roof enjoying the modern spaces and classrooms that we’re fortunate to have in a new school.”
The Government of British Columbia is committed to creating additional student spaces in growing communities throughout the province.
Since September 2017, the Province has approved more than $1 billion for new and expanded schools, and land purchases for future schools. This includes nearly $375 million for 6,350 new student seats.
There is more to come, as Budget 2019 provides a record $2.7 billion for school capital projects to give B.C. students the best educational experience possible.
- Government is working to meet the need for student spaces on the West Shore by approving $61.4 million for the following investments:
- Addition at Royal Bay Secondary School — $29.9 million
- Land purchase for future schools in West Langford — $24.9 million
- Land purchase for a future school in Skirt Mountain — $6.6 million
Connect with the Sooke School District: http://www.sd62.bc.ca/
For more information on current major school capital projects in B.C., visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/k-12/administration/capital/major-capital-projects