Ryker White, a grade 10 student at Royal Bay Secondary School said hallways at the school are getting more crowded as new students are welcomed in. Minister of Education Rob Fleming (left) and SD62 board chair and trustee Ravi Parmar both said the expansion to the school, which will be complete by August, 2020, is much-needed. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)

Construction for much-needed Royal Bay school expansion underway

Expansion expected to be ready by August, 2020

Construction is well underway at Royal Bay Secondary School as a much-needed expansion is being built.

“This was a known outstanding issue that this school, as beautiful as it is, was simply built too small,” said B.C. Minister of Education Rob Fleming.

Twenty-one classrooms, 600 seats and a third gym with indoor turf will be added to the school and ready for students to use by August, 2020 according to Ravi Parmar, SD62 board chair and trustee.

Royal Bay was over capacity when it opened its doors in 2015. It was originally built to hold 800 students but the expansion will bring that number up to 1,400.

READ MORE: Construction to begin on Colwood’s Royal Bay Secondary expansion

The expansion, Parmar said, is going to make Royal Bay the largest secondary school on the Island.

Royal Bay was designed with the expansion in mind. Without it, projections show the school would be at 177 per cent capacity by 2026.

“We had portables proliferating on site immediately,” Fleming said. “When you look at the housing that’s underway, it’s obvious there will be kids coming here.”

Construction at the school began in January of this year. The total budget for the expansion is $32 million, with $29 million from the province and the rest coming from a local capital contribution.

The Sooke School District is the fastest growing school district per capita in the province. The District sees about 4 per cent growth per year. Meanwhile, other school districts like Surrey see growth of about 1 per cent per year.

Fleming said the Ministry of Education currently has many projects underway, some that will help with growing schools and communities in the West Shore and Sooke.

READ MORE: Bear Mountain land levelled for possible future school

He said projects on land that was bought in West Langford and on Skirt Mountain are forthcoming.

In December, 2017, the province announced its contribution of $23.3 million towards the purchase of a 6.5 hectare (16 acre) site in Langford’s Westhills community. Plans are to build an elementary and middle school on the site to help ease pressures at Dunsmuir and Spencer middle schools.

Scott Stinson, SD62 superintendent and CEO, said the District also has a long-range facilities plan that will look at building an additional secondary school in the West Shore as well as an elementary school on Skirt Mountain.

Last week, the plot of land owned by SD62 on Skirt Mountain was levelled in preparation for a future school.

Stinson said the District is also looking at the potential of three additional elementary schools along the Latoria corridor, a school in the Happy Valley area and increasing capacity at Sooke Elementary School.

“The whole West Shore and Sooke region continues to grow at an exponential pace,” Stinson said.

shalu.mehta@goldstreamgazette.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Saanich rental project wins silver by going ‘green’

The Verve rental housing project stands at the corner of Boleskine Road and Whittier Avenue

420 celebrations turn over new leaf at B.C. legislature

Cannabis is legal for the first time in the 21-year existence of the 420 event in Victoria

VIDEO: ‘Stewie the Starfish’ mascot revealed at Premier League kickoff party

Pacific FC kickoff party scores in Victoria Inner Harbour

Report calls on Saanich to expand multicultural programming at recreation facilities

Report also notes that Saanich could do more for sexual minorities.

WATCH: Movie star and PACE alum Calum Worthy talks musical theatre and his career

“American Vandal” and “Austin and Ally” actor has been returning to the program for over 20 years

POLL: How often does your family use BC Ferries?

Navigating the lineups for BC Ferries is a way of life for… Continue reading

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of April 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. mom wages battle to get back four kids taken from her in Egypt

Sara Lessing of Mission has help from Abbotsford law firm

VIDEO: Fire guts Peachland home

Crews are still on scene pumping water onto the blaze in the Okanagan neighbourhood

$6K raised in one day’s time for family of woman gunned down in Penticton

GoFundMe launched for family of Darlene Knippelberg, to pay for funeral costs and other expenses

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Most Read