Home Education Westshore - SD62 South Langford school still awaits a name

South Langford school still awaits a name

Elementary school in South Langford still awaits a name.

south langford, sd62, school
Proposed design for elementary school in South Langford. [SD62]

Tuesday May 23, 2023 | LANGFORD, BC [Updated 9:30 pm]

by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends

The tender for the construction bid for building the upcoming elementary school in south Langford went live on March 15 and today May 23 was reported as closed.

The district is now working with the Ministry of Education and Child Care to finalize the funding amount and tender contract.

Construction is expected to start as soon as possible, said SD62 Superintendent Scott Stinson in his report to the SD62 board this evening, adding with a positive attitude: “We will get the school built in record time!”

scott stinson, paul block
SD62 Superintendent Scott Stinson (left) and Deputy Superintendent Paul Block at the SD62 public board meeting on May 23, 2023. [IST composite]

Meanwhile, the naming process for the school drags on. Simply referred to as the ‘South Langford elementary’ school, the name for the 480-seat school might have been expected in February or March based on board and executive comments earlier this year.

In February, SD62 said the school naming decision would be done at the March 14, 2023 board meeting. The February 15 public community meeting about the new school name was a lead-up to the March decision, the public was told at the time.


Indigenous process:

A statement from the Sooke School District 62 office was received by Island Social Trends on March 16: “The consultation for the naming of the new elementary school with our Indigenous stakeholders is ongoing. It will be on the agenda once consultation has concluded.”

“Recent work with Sc’anew Nation, following approval of a process by the Esquimalt and Songhees Nations, will see a recommended name, translated into Sencoten coming forward as one of the three options,” said Stinson in his Superintendent’s report this evening.

Deputy Superintendent Paul Block is working along with the First Nations representatives to help guide the name selection process, as Stinson reported this evening.

Name options aiming for June:

top names, south langford, elementary
Top 12 names for the upcoming SD62 elementary school in South Langford, presented Feb 15, 2023. [Island Social Trends]

However, this evening Stinson delicately rolled out how the process with the Indigenous community is still underway. Stinson is “optimistic” about bringing the name options to the board in June. That will include a name that the Indigenous group “would gift to us”.

Board policy requires that at least three potential school names be brought to the board for consideration any new school. Those names must be at least one in each of three categories: geographical characteristics, local Indigenous culture and language, or historical names.

That was the big read-out at the Sooke School District (SD62) board of education meeting last night, leaving behind any hope of receiving funds from the City of Langford for a joint-use artificial turf playing field.

The much-anticipated school that will help absorb some of the rapid student population growth in the west shore is located in the quiet Klahanie/Latoria residential area of Langford near the municipal border with Colwood. Both Langford and Colwood are in the SD62 footprint.

new school, latoria
New school coming to 804 Latoria Road near Klahanie Drive in Langford. [June 2022 photo]

Geographilcal & historical name options:

Based on a display board presented on February 15, the geographical name options might include Langford or South Langford, Latoria, Olympic View, and Triangle Mountain.

Historical names on the list included Sarah Beckett, John Horgan, Scott Manning, and Stew Young.

Importance of a name:

A school name is key to deciding many things and filters into numerous documents. A school name is obviously included in contracts and administrative documents, in overall pre-opening marketing, and decisions around school logo, colours and mascot.

A school name stays with people forever … sports teams, graduates, teacher resumes, community events, and so on.

seaparc, demamiel, golf, 2023

Choosing a name at this time is perhaps additionally delicate given the recent retirement of both a former Premier (John Horgan) and a former Langford Mayor (Stew Young), as well as sensitivity about geography and environment, and the current intensity of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.

This name selection process will be a branding moment for the new board that was elected in October 2022. Until now, many of their decisions could fairly be encapsulated in ‘getting to know the ropes’.

Other new schools:

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There are other schools in the works for future years (an elementary school on Leigh Road and a high school on McCallum Road, both in Langford).

Either of those could proudly carry the name of Stew Young more appropriately, given their location to stadium and high-profile commercial areas. It might be more appropriate to name this newest upcoming school (opening Sept 2025) after John Horgan, whose present departure from politics will still feel fresh in two years’ time.

New school must open in Sept 2025:

Any capital project likes to meet its planning schedule, but especially due to rapid growth in the west shore area, SD62 wants to make sure the new elementary school in south Langford opens its doors on the scheduled September 2025 date.

Part of keeping to the timeline was going ahead with the construction bid on March 15 without City of Langford funding for the school field which would have been a shared “community amenity”, with artificial turf and big lights for using the field at night.

At tonight’s May 23 board meeting, Acting Board Chair Amanda Dowhy put a positive spin on trying to rebuild a more productive working relationship with the City of Langford.

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A school with no name (March 15, 2023)

SD62 forging ahead without City support for shared sports field (Mar 14, 2023)

City of Langford will support the Westhills YM/YWCA (Mar 6, 2023)

Top picks for new school name include recent premier and mayor (Feb 16, 2023)

New Langford middle school opens at 74% capacity (Nov 14, 2022)

‘Best Board in BC’: diversity and lived experience (Nov 2, 2022)

Another new school to be built in west-shore SD62 (June 14, 2022)

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mary p brooke
Mary P Brooke, Editor, Island Social Trends

Island Social Trends is a professional news portal at islandsocialtrends.ca . Fully online since mid-2020, Island Social Trends emerged from the extensive groundwork of previous print publications in the west shore: MapleLine Magazine (2008-2010), Sooke Voice News (2011-2013), and West Shore Voice News (2014-2020).

Since 2008, journalist and editor Mary P Brooke has taken a socioeconomic lens to news analysis about the west shore and south Vancouver Island region, including BC provincial news, and national news impacts.

Ms Brooke has been covering news of School District 62 (SD62) at the board and committee level, including attending nearly all of their meetings since 2014. Mary P Brooke was a school trustee candidate (SD62 Belmont Zone – Langford, Colwood, Metchosin and Highlands) in the October 2022 election, as a service to community.