West Shore post-secondary school opening delayed by 1 year

West Shore post-secondary school opening delayed by 1 year
(L-R) Philip Twyford, Ravi Parmar and Philip Steenkamp examine plans for the post-secondary campus that is under construction in Langford on May 13, 2024.

A myriad of issues has led to the opening of the new post-secondary school in the West Shore to be delayed by one year, with most classes to begin in September 2025.

The school, located at 798 Goldstream Ave., was initially expected to open in time for the fall 2024 semester when it was first announced in August 2022.

However, Royal Roads says the project was delayed due to supply chain and labour shortages. Construction was also briefly halted due to the RidgeView Place evacuation. Another delay for the project came when the initial mass timber supplier unexpectedly declared insolvency.

“We’ve worked through those challenges now; the construction is progressing,” Royal Roads said in an email to CHEK News. Construction on the school is expected to be complete in the spring of 2025, but classes won’t start until September 2025, one year after the initial projected start date.

Once opened, Royal Roads University, the University of Victoria, Camosun College, the Justice Institute of B.C. and the Sooke School District will be offering classes on the campus.

The provincial government is footing most of the bill, with the estimated at $98 million when it was first announced. RRU is investing $19 million, UVic $1 million and $200,000 will be coming from Camosun.

Philip Steenkamp, RRU’s president, says when the campus opens around 2,000 students will be able to attend the college.

“And this is just phase one. As you can see behind us, there’s a lot more property here and we’re thinking about other phases,” Steenkamp said.

Steenkamp says RRU plans to offer business or environmental sciences programs at the campus, UVic is looking to offer computer gateway programming, Camosun is looking at adult learning programs, the Justice Institute will offer public safety training and the Sooke School District will offer some high school programming.

“This will be unique in Canada,” Steenkamp said. “There’s no other place where students can come and have access to such a wide array of programming from so many different institutions.”

Ravi Parmar, MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca, says this will help provide more post-secondary options closer to home for students living in the West Shore.

“Less people are gonna have to commute. I was a UVic student, I did my poli sci degree at UVic, and I remember waking up at 5:30 in the morning trying to get to the exchange in order to catch I think two or three buses to into UVic and then another three buses to get home at the end of the day,” he said.

“They were long days and so I think the importance of this project is it’s good for students, it’s going to be more students here locally in the West Shore and Sooke and have less commutes in order for them to be able to do really important programming.”

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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