Sooke School District gets provincial money to buy land for new schools



An elementary and middle school in Langford is closer to reality for the Sooke School District.

The province announced Monday $23.3 million will be provided to the district to purchase 16 acres of land at the corner of Westshore Parkway and Constellation Avenue in the Westhills Development.

Executive director for the West Shore chamber of commerce Julie Lawlor says its much-needed infrastructure to keep up with the increased growth of the West Shore.

? Particularly we know that families and young people moving out to the West Shore is growing significantly so the increase in the last five years just in Langford alone is 20%,? said Lawlor.

Over the next five years, the Sooke School District is anticipating an increase of 1,800 students.

The first priority for the land is the building of a new middle school, to get rid of portables and ease pressure on Dunsmuir and Spencer Middle Schools.

“Dunsmuir has 13 portables and Spencer has 7 portables and of course we have some portables at our elementary schools so this announcement speaks to the future of our district and eliminating those portables in a few short years,” said Ravi Parmar Chair with the Sooke Board of Education.

Education Minister Rob Fleming says the announcement was long overdue.

? This community has been working for 20 years to try and get the provincial government’s attention on how critical the need is to have more schools out here the growth has only increased in terms of its pace so to get the land is really the first but a major step to be able to build the new schools,? said Fleming.

A proposed expansion of Royal Bay Secondary is also being looked although no official announcement was made.

” We don’t have an announcement at this time but I can tell you that we are working with the district on the latter stages of looking at what the design and tendering cost might be should we go ahead with a project like that,” said Fleming.

No completion date was given but before shovels hit the ground, the district will complete a project report to determine cost and size of the schools, then funding will be needed to build them.

Government announced $23.3 million for Sooke School District to purchase land to build two new schools in Langford. File photo.

Government announced $23.3 million for Sooke School District to purchase land to build two new schools in Langford. File photo.

Andy NealAndy Neal

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