SD62 will be adding five portables this summer with 300 to 400 new students expected to join the District in the fall. (Black Press file photo)

More portables coming to West Shore schools

SD62 adding five portables, bringing total number to 59

More portables are coming to West Shore schools this summer.

As the population on the West Shore continues to grow, so does demand for space at local schools. Despite a recent announcement that the province will be providing funding for two new schools in Langford, the Sooke School District is adding portables to some schools as a temporary measure.

SD62 trustee Ravi Parmar said the the District is projecting about 300 to 400 new students next year. To create more space for them, two portables will be added to Wishart Elementary, one to Belmont Secondary, one to Spencer Middle School and one to Millstream Elementary.

Parmar said sometimes more than 400 new students come to the School District in a year, especially if there is a new housing development.

READ ALSO: Province funds $88.6M for two new schools in Langford by 2022

“With the housing crisis, quite a few families are moving to Sooke and Langford and Colwood because the are areas where it’s the most affordable to rent and purchase a home,” Parmar said. “We’re going to continue to do the best we can to build new schools that are on time and on budget but in the meantime we have to add portables.”

Currently, Dunsmuir Middle School has 13 portables and there will be eight at Spencer Middle School come September. The five new portables will bring the total number of portables in SD62 to 59.

In June, the province announced it will be providing $88.6 million for two new schools in Langford — a 500-seat elementary school and 700-seat middle school. Parmar said the elementary school will become the largest in SD62.

Both schools are slotted to open in September, 2022 and SD62 is already working on them with architects and planning officers.

READ ALSO: SD62 board passes $143M budget, lone opposition concerned over library funding cuts

Next year, Parmar said he’s hoping SD62 will be able to convince the province to continue supporting the district’s capital plan which looks at a north Langford secondary school on Skirt mountain and a south Langford elementary school on lands that haven’t been purchased yet. The district is also hoping for new elementary schools in Sooke and Colwood.

Each portable that is being added costs about $300,000 to purchase and set up, Parmar said, but the goal is to make sure there is enough room for kids at schools.

“It’s not a cheap thing to do…it comes out of our operating funding currently,” Parmar said. “But parents shouldn’t be concerned. Obviously our goal is for kids to be within the structure of a school but in the meantime these are nice portables and in some cases they can be a bit nicer than the older school classrooms.”

Parmar stresses the portables are temporary as long as the province continues to fund SD62 and the creation of more schools.

“This is a short term pain for a long term gain,” Parmar said. “Once we start building new schools we’ll be able to remove some of the portables.”

shalu.mehta@goldstreamgazette.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Technical difficulties delay Victoria’s $500,000 Christmas light village

The Lights of Wonder display was originally set to open on Dec. 13

City of Victoria accepts $1 million cheque from seniors home developer

Milliken Development put forward the cash to the Housing Reserve Fund

Saanich-based pharmaceutical company stocks double in value after successful lupus drug trial

More than 40 per cent of patients using voclosporin saw improvements in kidney function

Nighttime closures begin on Bay Street Bridge Dec. 9

The final phase of construction will see the removal of scaffolding from the site

Man allegedly behind Greater Victoria restaurant thefts arrested

Jason Perry is expected in court on Dec. 10

‘Things haven’t changed enough:’ Ecole Polytechnique anniversary prompts reflection

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at the Montreal school on Dec. 6, 1989

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

Second warning on romaine lettuce from California region as another E. coli case reported

Two cases of E. coli have been reported in relation to the illness in the U.S.

Six B.C. municipalities accepted as interveners in Supreme Court of Canada carbon-pricing case

Victoria, Vancouver, Squamish, Richmond, Nelson and Rossland have intervener status

Residents in B.C. city could face 133% tax hike in ‘worst case’ lawsuit outcome: report

An average home could see a tax increase of $2,164 in one year

POLL: Will you be donating to charities over the holiday season?

Many here in Victoria joined others around the world to take part… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 3

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

Many of Canada’s working poor can’t afford lawyers, don’t qualify for legal aid

One lawyer says many people earn too much to qualify for legal aid, but not enough to really live on

Most Read