Construction is a quarter of the way to completion for two new schools in Langford.
Structural steel is scheduled to arrive by the end of March, with completion slated for September 2022 to welcome students to Pexsisen Elementary School and Centre Mountain Lellum Middle School.
“It’s no secret the West Shore is home to some of the fastest-growing communities in the province and an attractive place to raise a family,” said Premier John Horgan in a statement. “I am excited students in Langford will soon have the benefit of learning in modern, engaging and inspiring new schools designed to support student success.”
The B.C. government is providing $88.6 million to build the schools at the corner of Constellation Avenue and West Shore Parkway. They will add space for 1,200 students and reduce the need for portables at nearby schools. Site preparation, concrete foundation work and retaining walls for the new schools have been completed.
Creating new child care opportunities for families is vital to building strong communities, said Mitzi Dean, Minister of Children and Family Development and MLA for Esquimalt-Metchosin. “By providing child care on school grounds, especially in busy communities like the West Shore, we can help make pickups and drop-offs easier for parents and inspire young children to become lifelong learners.”
The site for the new schools will include a neighbourhood learning centre with before and after school child care spaces to support young families.
Ravi Parmar, chair of the Sooke School District Board of Education, said the board has worked hard to ensure there are neighbourhood schools for the growing communities on the West Shore.
“We’re thankful the government recognizes the growth and opportunity in our communities,” Parmar noted. “These schools help us on our path to providing leadership in educational stewardship while fostering choice and diversity for both our students and staff.”
The B.C. government has announced more than $2.2 billion for school construction since 2017. That includes $187 million for SD62 to add space for 1,800 students at three schools, as well as the purchase of five sites for future schools needed to meet the anticipated growth on the West Shore.
Pexsisen is a Lekwungen word that was gifted to SD62 by the Songhees First Nation. It means “the opening of hands,” or “to have one’s hands wide open.” Lellum was gifted by the Sc’ianew First Nation in Beecher Bay and carries the meaning of house and the idea of community where children are raised.