A $31.1-million addition that would add 600 seats is in the works for Royal Bay Secondary School.

The structure was built to hold 1,200, but only had 800 classroom seats.

Upon opening in September 2015, nearly 900 students were enrolled, meaning the school was already overcapacity.

There are now ten portables set up in front of the school.

The school district says they present a challenge for students.

“It creates a separation, whether it’s a small distance or not,” said Sooke School District superintendent Scott Stinson. “Transition in a school this size is always a problem, getting from one end to the other. So trying to make that flow as easy as possible for students is also important.”

The $31.1 million expansion will add 600 seats, 13 classrooms, two computer labs, four science classrooms and one gym.

“We understand that portables need to be brought in, but we want them to be temporary solutions,” said Sooke school board chair Ravi Parmar. “We don’t want to see schools with ten portables. We’d rather see investments made so we can start building new schools faster.”

Construction is slated to begin later this month.

The expansion is set to open to students in September 2020.

Calvin To