School board, minister sign agreements for West Shore schools

New high schools slated for Colwood, Langford another step closer with agreements signed this morning at Belmont secondary

Minister of Education Don McRae gets a hands-on lesson from Grade 12 woodorking student Brennan Muscoby as the 17-year-old turns a bowl during woodwork class.

Agreements signed Tuesday (Dec. 18) solidify the work toward a pair of new high schools to be built on the West Shore.

Don McRae, Minister of Education stopped to sign an agreement, alongside Sooke board of education chair Wendy Hobbs, to build two new secondary schools in Langford and Colwood.

“We know we’re a unique school district because we’re growing and progressing,” Hobbs said. “These two new schools and neighbourhood learning centres will only add to the opportunities for both students and the community as a whole.”

“The next time you see us hopefully the shovels will be in the ground,” she added.

Budgets are $50.8 million for Belmont secondary while Royal Bay in Colwood is slated at $38.6 million. The schools are set to support a wide range of education programs, including opportunities to expand skills and trades training for students. Both schools will also have neighbourhood learning centres to provide various services to communities, such as a family support centre, health and wellness screening office, child-care facility and a multi-purpose room with a community kitchen.

Before signing, McRae addressed the students gathered. He spoke to the Grade 10 students first.

“I understand you will be the last class to graduate from this building. That is a great opportunity and a great responsibility. Those who have come before you have done great for Belmont and the area. You have a strong tradition,” he said. “Even though this school, the venue we’re in today, will not be here forever, Belmont will. It’s important that you celebrate the greatness that is Belmont … be strong athletically, be strong in extracurriculars, be strong in the arts because the school has a great tradition and you will set a legacy for those that follow behind you.”

Grade 9 students, who could make up the first class of the schools expected to open in fall 2015, were also on hand.

“A new school is a great asset in any community. It isn’t anything without positive students, teachers, principals, aids and parents. It’s so important that you take the good that is Belmont, and take it to the new school. Because tradition is so strong and the pressure will be on you Grade 9s to make sure the school stays that way.”

Jocelyn Gauthier, 14, spoke on behalf of the Grade 9 students who could make up the first graduating classes of the new schools.

“I’d like to express our excitement at having the possibility of being the first graduating classes in the new schools. In spite of being so new at Belmont, we’ve become quite fond of the duct tape,” she said, getting a response of chuckles. “We feel honoured to hopefully be the senior classes, to set the tone of the new high schools … not only will the students attending these schools benefit but also the entire West Shore community.”

 

With the project agreements now in place, the school board will invite architectural and construction firms to submit their design-build proposals.

 

 

Just Posted

Governing bodies accused of ‘destroying’ girls’ hockey by Island’s top team

When asked for advice hockey dad says ‘put your girls in soccer’

Guns could use smartphone-style fingerprint locks in near future

Startups looking to outflank traditional gun manufacturers using tech knowhow

Economic inequality, immigration still need work in Victoria: Prosperity index

Housing, environmental health factors show improvements in 2019: report

Victoria City Councillor Laurel Collins wins federal NDP nomination

Collins will run for Victoria in the upcoming federal election

WATCH: Soon-to-be guide dogs take part in the Amazing Puppy Race

10 puppies training to be guide dogs took part in a social Easter egg hunt

Victoria church bells toll in solidarity with Notre Dame Cathedral after devastating fire

Churches around the globe ring bells to honour iconic Paris cathedral

POLL: How often does your family use BC Ferries?

Navigating the lineups for BC Ferries is a way of life for… Continue reading

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of April 16

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

B.C. senior sentenced for sexually abusing special-needs granddaughter

73-year-old Cortes Island man will go to jail for three years

Howe Sound Queen sailing toward retirement

Vessel now up for auction ends regular runs between Crofton and Vesuvius at the beginning of June

Should B.C. lower speed limits on side roads to 30 km/h?

Vancouver city councillor wants to decrease speed limits along neighbourhood side roads

Lawsuit eyed over union-only raise for B.C. community care workers

‘Low-wage redress’ leaves 17,000 employees out, employers say

Landlord of alleged Okanagan shooter recounts deadly day

Tony Friesen was working in one of the units of his Penticton building when he heard shots

Foreign national arrested in connection to thefts at YVR

A woman, 60, is being held in police custody as Richmond RCMP investigate

Most Read