More than 180 students at West Mont Montessori School in Metchosin may have a new place to learn in future.
Operators of the West Shore private school are in the initial stages of exploring the possibility of building a replacement school on their current lot, adjacent to Witty’s Lagoon. While no application has been submitted to the District of Metchosin, Corvidae Environmental Consulting made a presentation to council last week on behalf of the school.
“We have an aging facility, that is the big thing, that is the impetus,” school principal Magnus Hanton in an interview. “We just hope to get an idea on what their thoughts are on development.”
One of two potential options for the project, if it were to move forward, would be to bring in modular units to the current playing field, replacing the current building on the same footprint and removing the temporary units following completion.
The other could see a new building constructed on the playing field, demolishing the existing building when that was done.
Hanton, school principal since 2012, said they aren’t looking to grow the number of students or take over any extra land, but may want to have a larger footprint on the land on which the school currently resides.
“We certainly want to have a cap on our numbers because we are a smaller school and there is a certain atmosphere (that) happens with having a smaller number of students,” he said. “So we do have caps at different age levels.”
The current enrolment of 185 could be increased by another 25 or so given the existing program offerings, Hanton said. “That would be our cap and we wouldn’t be looking to go much beyond that.”
The school, which offers Kindergarten to Grade 8 classes, was once housed in portables on the Luxton Fairgrounds in Langford. It moved to its current location in 1988 and has been on the West Shore for more than 50 years. Hanton said if any redevelopment plans were to move forward, a replacement school wouldn’t be in place for at least three to five years.