A new site in Langford for a future elementary school has been purchased.
Premiere John Horgan and Rob Fleming, minister of education, were in Langford Friday morning to make the announcement at Lakewood Elementary.
Horgan said the elementary school will service the new housing development on Skirt Mountain and the north side of the Trans-Canada Highway. With a number of developments planned for the area, the province determined the additional school was needed to relieve increasing pressures on nearby Lakewood and Millstream elementary schools.
The province provided $6.6 million to purchase the six-acre site in north Langford with the intention of putting another Sooke School District elementary school on the site.
Horgan said the purchase of this site before development was important. He noted that the province purchased the same size of property for a school in Surrey two weeks ago, the other fastest growing school board in B.C., but because the development has already begun in the area, the property cost $24 million.
“By having the foresight to purchase this land before development begins, when we know young families are going to come here, makes sure that the school board can use its resources appropriately, the province can use its resources appropriately, we’re saving taxpayers in the long term and we’re providing quality education for our children and I couldn’t be happier about that,” Horgan said.
Horgan said it was a proud moment for him to be in his home community helping make contributions for today and moving forward.
With the City of Langford’s population estimated at around 40,000 residents, the number of students has also increased.
Fleming said that if they didn’t take action, by 2026 Lakewood Elementary could have 13 portables to accommodate the influx of students. As of March, the Sooke School District has 11,074 students from kindergarten to Grade 12.
Langford Councillor Denise Blackwell said the City does its best to work with the development community, Ministry of Education and school board to ensure there are enough schools.
“I want to thank this government in particular, because, in the past, if you could see from the opening of the Royal Bay school, the day it opened, it was full. So we’re really pleased that this government is looking ahead and funding for the kids that are coming up,” Blackwell said.
Since September 2017, the province has invested $55 million into capital projects for SD62, including $23.3 million for a 16-acre site near the Westhills development for a future elementary school and possibly a middle school, and another $25.2 million for the Royal Bay Secondary expansion project.