Construction to expand Royal Bay Secondary School is now underway in Colwood. The project includes 21 classrooms and a third gym with indoor turf, which will be ready for students by August 2020. There will be space for 600 new seats, bringing the school’s capacity to 1,400 students. Royal Bay, which has students from Colwood, Langford and Metchosin, was built in 2015 for 800 students. It now has nearly 1,000 students and is using over 10 portables. Minister of Education Rob Fleming, MLA for Esquimalt-Metchosin Mitzi Dean, students, and staff celebrated the start to construction at the school on Tuesday. “Students deserve the best educational experience possible, no matter where they live,” Fleming said. “The expansion at this school will ensure students will be learning in modern, engaging classrooms, so they can fully benefit from our new curriculum.”The Ministry of Education is providing $27.3 million while the Sooke Board of Education is contributing $2.6 million for a total budget of $29.9 million. “Being able to transition students out of the portables and into a large inclusive school for 1,400 students is exactly the type of learning space we envision for SD62 students and staff,” said Ravi Parmar, chair of the Sooke Board of Education. “I’m pleased this government is showing its commitment to investing in fast-growing communities like ours, and we look forward to continuing to work closely with them on future projects.” In addition to the Royal Bay Secondary School expansion, the government also previously announced $24.9 million to go toward purchasing land for future schools in west Langford and $6.6 million for a future school in Skirt Mountain.