Work to prepare the site for a new middle school in the Westhills area of Langford is slated to begin as early as this week in order to avoid lengthy delays arising from environmental requirements.
Scott Stinson, superintendent for School District 62, said doing the work now before birds begin nesting in the spring will avoid delays of six to nine months. “We’re trying to be as ready as we can to move forward,” he said.
Population growth in the area is so rapid, the District needs to do whatever it can to expedite bringing new schools online, he noted. But, the Sooke School District has not received permission to begin planning construction at this time, Stinson said.
A submission will be made in spring 2019 and permission is required by the Treasury Board as well, Stinson said, adding that the timeline is in keeping with the ministry average for projects of this scope.
The Ministry of Education approved $23.3 million for the purchase of the land in March of this year. At that time, the District established building a middle school on the 16-acre site at the corner of West Shore Parkway and Constellation Avenue as a priority to help ease the pressures on Dunsmuir and Spencer middle schools. Seven portables currently serve as classrooms at those schools.
The District also hopes to build an elementary school on the site to address the shortage of kindergarten to Grade 5 spaces brought on in part by the influx of young families to the area.