David Cameron Elementary school, along side Wishart elementary, Belmont Secondary and Journey Middle school in Sooke will be getting new portables, which will be ready for use in September. (Kendra Wong/News Gazette staff)

Sooke School District continues to grow

New middle, elementary schools on the way

With yet another school year fast approaching and thousands of kids heading back into the classroom, it is expected to be a busy one for the Sooke School District as it continues to be one of the fastest growing school districts in the province.

This school year, SD62 is bracing for another influx of new students, as its long-range facilities plan recently projected an increase of 4,400 students in the next 10 year, which translates to roughly 350 to 400 new students per year.

“It just keeps on getting bigger, the numbers in 2016 were a bit conservative,” said school district board chair Ravi Parmar, noting the district’s last long-range plan was completed two years ago.

“This is the most affordable area to live on southern Vancouver Island, so we have to respond to that. There are other districts across the province that are fighting for capital dollars and we want to be one of them.”

Plans are already in the works to accommodate the increase in students by adding five portables – two at Belmont Secondary school, one at Wishart and one at David Cameron elementary schools, as well as one at Journey Middle school in Sooke.

The portables were added in recent weeks and will be ready for use when the school year starts up again on Tuesday, Sept. 4, bringing the total number of portables to 51.

But those are just temporary solutions, said Parmar, noting the district’s top priority continues to be the construction of a middle and elementary school in the Westhills area, which the province helped purchase the land for in December.

A project definition report is currently underway to determine the design, size and cost of building the two schools, which was expected to be complete by the end of the summer. From there, the report will be submitted to the Ministry of Education for funding approval.

At the high school level, the district is still in the design phase for the 600-seat expansion of Royal Bay Secondary school, which was announced in March and will add 21 classrooms and a small gymnasium to the site on Ryder Hesjedal Way.

Parmar expects the district will select a construction company by the end of the year, with an accelerated construction phase beginning in early 2019 and the expansion opening in fall 2020.

French immersion enroling is also increase and the school district is continuing to juggle the issue of increased enrolment as school such as Ecole John Stubbs, approach capacity.

“We knew French immersion enrolment was increasing. It is a juggle for us as our schools are approaching capacity. If there is physical classroom space in a school to make another class we do everything we can to do so,” said SD62 assistant superintendent Stephanie Hedley-Smith.

Find the entire fall edition of West Shore Family online.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

editor@goldstreamgazette.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Shore Pickleball Association serves up idea for View Royal tennis court

‘We don’t have a place to call home’, says avid pickleball member

VIDEO: Saanich family competes on first season of ‘Family Feud Canada’

Charania family will face off against the Torres family from Hamilton, Ont.

The Goldstream News Gazette office is on the move

We’re returning to our roots, just a few blocks away on Goldstream Avenue

West Shore RCMP seek man wanted on four counts of breaching court conditions

Christopher Elliott, 28, described as Caucasian with black hair, brown eyes

Sap thief taps Saanich park maple trees, faces hefty fine

One tree found with four taps in Mount Doug Park

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

Greater Victoria’s wanted list for the week of Jan. 28

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

POLL: Are you concerned about the coronavirus?

The coronavirus which has sparked concern around the globe has now arrived… Continue reading

Nanaimo man hit with pole in dispute over off-leash dog

RCMP say no charges recommended at this time

Was there a tornado on Vancouver Island Monday?

Suspected phone app glitch gives eerie warning

Work has started on Malahat Skywalk, expected completion in 2021

$15-million project expected to open in spring, 2021

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

Bystander who tried to help dog being attacked not liable for its death: B.C. tribunal

Owner of dog killed tried to get $5,000 in damages from man who tried to save it

Most Read