WATCH: With plans for more than 2300 homes, Colwood’s Royal Bay development was launched Wednesday, but its new high school is already full. April Lawrence reports.
Work is underway on the first few homes at the massive Royal Bay development in Colwood.
On Wednesday the project held its official opening on the 160 hectare property.
Once it’s finished it will be a community larger than Metchosin, with 2300 homes housing roughly 7000 people, along with restaurants, shopping, and parks.
It already has a school — Royal Bay Secondary was completed last year — but it’s already at capacity.
“We’re going to have to start with the portables unfortunately for this September,” said Mayor Carol Hamilton.
“We tried to forewarn them that this was imminently under development,” she said.
But instead of building a bigger school with more room to grow, it will now take more construction to make space for the students that will move into the new Royal Bay neighbourhood.
“I spoke with the Superintendent last week and they’re in the process of applying for funding for an expansion,” said Royal Bay developer Russell Tibbles.
Keeping up the infrastructure in such a rapidly growing region is a challenge being faced across the West Shore.
“It’s crazy out here right now and people are moving out here and this is their choice, and we have to make sure we as government keep up with the infrastructure they need,” said Langford Mayor Stewart Young.
Many schools are also full in Langford, including newly built Belmont Secondary.
The Sooke School District said it has plans in the works to build five new schools in the area in the coming years.
Then there’s the traffic — with the construction of hundreds of new homes underway in the region right now, the ‘Colwood Crawl’ could slow to a standstill.
“There’s no question that it’s a challenge across the region,” said Julie Lawlor, executive director of the WestShore Chamber of Commerce.
While the new McKenzie interchange should bring some relief, there are also plans underway for more transit.
And Lawlor said there’s hope that new developments like Royal Bay, will encourage more people not just to live on the West Shore, but to work and play there as well.