Colwood Mayor Carol Hamilton and West Shore-raised cyclist Ryder Hesjedal unveil a sign for the future Ryder Hesjedal Way

Shovels in ground for new West Shore school

Event recognizes the official naming of Ryder Hesjedal Way, the yet-nonexistent road which will lead to the school.

It may seem like just another muddy field, but with the official kickoff to construction of the new Royal Bay secondary school, it’s being touted as the lynchpin for the next generation of West Shore youth.

Community leaders and a group of the first students who will be attending the new Colwood-based high school visited the site Friday to celebrate.

“Today we’re standing on a dirt plot, but in less than two years we’ll be standing here on the grounds of a beautiful new high school,” said School District 62 board chair Wendy Hobbs.

The new school will be three stories and will showcase state-of-the-art features for a high school, said district superintendent Jim Cambridge. It will be home to a new 350-set theatre in the centre of the building, two gymnasiums and the only full-size rubberized asphalt track in the district.

One of the most unique features will be a basketball court on the roof of the building. Due to the grading of the site, neighbouring residents will see mainly the roof of the school, so having a basketball court is an improvement over the usual vents and air conditioners.

“(I’m) super proud and excited,” Cambridge said. “It’s great, for me, to see the kids here that are going to be going to it. You sometimes lose touch of it with long meetings about mechanical aspects or whatever … so to see the Grade 9s here today is really special.”

After a blessing on the site by local First Nations representatives, dignitaries from the ministry of education, the City of Colwood and School District 62 said a few words about the importance of the occasion.

“This is what it’s all about,” said Peter Fassbender, minister of education. “It’s about the future of our young people, it’s about opening new doors of opportunity and providing facilities that will help them on their education journey.”

The total cost for the school is $40.8 million and it will house 800 students from grades 9 to 12.

The site has been cleared and levelled and Cambridge said the foundation work has all of its permits ready, so excavation work will be starting up in the next couple of weeks. The concrete work will follow.

Along with celebrating the beginning of construction for the new school, the event also recognized the official naming of Ryder Hesjedal Way, the yet-nonexistent road which will lead to the school.

The namesake himself, a former student of Belmont secondary and Spencer middle schools, attended the ceremony and believes in the importance of a good start in life to achieving success.

“I’m pretty biased to the West Shore, I think it’s a great place, a perfect place, for people to grow up and find out what they want to do,” Hesjedal said. “It’s a huge honour to be here and have a designation like this.”

The school is slated to open in Sept. 2015.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Trees Cannabis director fined $1.5 million for selling marijuana

Fine follows provincial crackdown on popular dispensary

Victims tell of abuse at hands of Victoria substitute teacher

Harry Charles Sadd pleaded guilty to eight charges that took place between 1970 to 1982

2020 Budget: ICBC ‘dumpster fire’ to turn into $86M surplus, NDP say

ICBC operating with $91-million deficit for 2019-2020 fiscal year

Resident mistakes screaming teens’ late-night plunge for an emergency

Big week for Oak Bay Police who respond to rampant theft in Oak Bay, host Polar Plunge

Victoria budtenders become first private cannabis workers to unionize in Canada

Two of seven Clarity Cannabis storefronts vote to join UFCW 1518 union

VIDEO: 7 things you need to know about the 2020 B.C. budget

Surplus of $227 million with big spending on infrastructure and capital projects

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 18

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

POLL: Do you support the proposed changes for ICBC?

Tuesday’s provincial budget predicted a shift from shortfall to surplus in wake… Continue reading

World Cup skier from Okanagan dies suddenly at 19

Kuroda, who made his World Cup debut earlier this year, passed away suddenly Monday night.

Coastal GasLink pipeline investor committed to closing deal despite protests

Developer TC Energy Corp. — formerly TransCanada Corp. — is to remain the operator of the $6.6-billion pipeline

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

What’s in a name? The story of Revelstoke’s Mt. Begbie

It’s likely the iconic peak had several Indigenous peoples’ names before settlers arrived

Budget 2020: B.C. Liberals blast ‘Netflix tax,’ lack of economic plan

ICBC rates still go up, except in election year, Shirley Bond says

Teen snowmobiler from Kelowna found after air force’s overnight search

The teen had been missing since just after 6 p.m. on Monday

Most Read