The entire Belmont student body gathered for a pep rally last week to kick off the school year. Members of the teaching staff even did a little dance to celebrate the occasion.

Belmont spirits run high

Students rally up some spirit in their new space in Langford

Students and staff donned the school’s blue-and-white and filed into Belmont’s new gym for the first pep rally of the year on Friday. It was a special occasion for the Belmont community, marking the first time in almost 20 years the entire student body gathered together in one room.

Principal Ray Miller noted during the rally that none of the students in the bleachers were born the last time Belmont’s student body all gathered.

The main gym at the old building could only seat about 400 at a time, which meant that students were separated into shifts for assemblies and other gatherings. But the new gym has the capacity to hold 1,600.

“We were a great school in an old, tired building,” Miller said. “But we had a great staff and community.” The new building, he added, has created “a recipe for magic.”

In general, he said, the school year is off to a great start and while construction is still ongoing, it’s something everyone simply has to wait out. “Eventually those inconveniences won’t be around.”

Some of those school-finishing issues, such as a shortage of about 350 lockers, will be solved with the completion of the final block of classrooms. That wing was projected to be done by the end of the month, but a new deadline for completion has yet to be released.

Another issue the school is having is a lack of available parking spaces, but that problem will quickly be solved as the final stages of construction progress.

“The spirit at Belmont is just as high as it was in the old school, if not better,” Miller said.

That spirit is infectious. Teacher Charlotte Haley, new to Belmont, said the construction has brought everyone at the school closer together and has really made them all a team.

“The kids have taken a lot of pride in their school,” she said. “They’re looking forward to when it’s done, but they’re still enjoying the facilities.”

Haley teaches the sports performance rugby class, among others, and looks forward to growing the program and eventually making it an academy program. More than 30 students are registered for its first year.

Tyler Hardy, 15 and in Grade 10, is in his first year as a member of the Belmont community. He spent his Grade 9 year at Spencer middle school before the re-configuration this year.

So far he’s found the transition easy. “I just found there was more kids,” he said. He’s excited to take advantage of being on an “open” campus for the first time, meaning students can leave the campus on breaks to use amenities in the area.

He likes how close Glen and Langford lakes are, as well as Goudy Field and the City Centre Park complex.

But Hardy is most excited about breaking in the school’s new gym as a member of the volleyball team. He is also trying out for the basketball team, but expects hoops tryouts to be tough.

As he was talking, rival teams began filing in to compete in a volleyball tournament that afternoon. They couldn’t hide their amazement. Jaws dropped as they took in their surroundings.  It seems Belmont students aren’t the only ones impressed.

katie@goldstreamgazette.com

Belmont secondary:

Funding announced: Oct. 31, 2011

Ground breaking: June 27, 2013

Cost: $50.8 million

Student capacity: 1,200

School colours: Navy and white

Team nickname: Bulldogs

Features:

– Three-story classroom block

– Moveable partitions for flexible teaching spaces

– The largest school gym on Vancouver Island

– Stunning learning commons, overlooking Langford Lake

– Use of Rugby Canada turf fields

– Targeting LEED Gold Certification (green building certification)

Just Posted

Victoria seniors want to know more about marijuana

Four presentations on the medical properties of cannabis for seniors come to Victoria

Rickter Scale: California Dreaming with Steve Shutt

The Rickter Scale is a weekly column in the Goldstream News Gazette

Victoria gears up to axe free parking on Sundays

Council vote puts Sunday parking fees towards bus passes for youth

Black Press readers share photos of their favourite critters on #LoveYourPetDay

Greater Victoria is raining cats and dogs…and snails and goats

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of Feb. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Ontario man accused of killing 11-year-old daughter dies in hospital, police say

Roopesh Rajkumar had been hospitalized with what police described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

Nanaimo edges Royal Bay by one point to win Vancouver Island AAA girls basketball title

Nanaimo District Secondary School wins first AAA girls’ Island title in 29 years

City of Port Alberni cancels tourist train operations for 2019

Steam train to McLean Mill is out of commission for repairs; city wants to re-examine rail costs

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

$10-a-day child care not in 2019 budget, but advocate not irked

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. says NDP on track to deliver promise

Most Read