Tuesday, December 11, 2018 ~ LANGFORD.
by Mary P Brooke ~ West Shore Voice News
On Monday December 10, contractors began their action to clear a section of land in West Langford, the future site of a new elementary and middle school combo (as first reported in the December 7, 2018 issue of West Shore Voice News, page 1).
Trees are being removed in preparation for construction of the two new schools. The land preparation work will be completed by late March 2019, beginning in the rainy season this week.
This work is in anticipation of funding from the Ministry of Education for facility construction. The Board is working with the government to secure the funding, which is expected by March 2019.
“We will foot the bill for it now and hope to be able to recoup the funds when approval comes through,” said Sooke School District 62 (SD62) Superintendent Scott Stinson today, December 11.
SD62 is proceeding with confidence and land preparation to “be ready when we do make our submission”, explained Stinson. He says they are aiming to work around the environment concerns about birds nesting in the area. If the land preparation is not done before spring the school construction project would be delayed by nine to 12 months, he told West Shore Voice News.
“Given our need for new schools” it’s important to “stay on track with our Long Range Facilities Plan” and have the two new schools open by September 2021, Stinson outlined.
The drive to build new schools is in response to the continual population growth in the west shore where housing is considered to be relatively affordable within the Greater Victoria area.
The 6.5 hectare (16-acre) land purchase within the Westhills development took place in December 2017, with $23.3 million in funding as provided to SD62 by the Ministry of Education.
At the corner of West Shore Parkway and Constellation Avenue, the development of two schools there will tie together a string of educational and recreational facilities in the area, with Belmont Secondary nearby as well as the Heritage Branch of the Greater Victoria Public Library system, a Victoria Conservatory of Music satellite centre, the YM/YWCA, Langford Lanes bowling alley, and Westhills Stadium (home to Pacific FC and Rugby Canada).