Portables were built to accommodate growth at Royal Bay Secondary School in Colwood just one year after the school’s opening. (Katherine Engqvist/News Staff)

Work to begin on expanding Vancouver Island’s newest high school

600-seat expansion set to open at Colwood’s Royal Bay Secondary School by September 2020

Royal Bay Secondary School will become a little roomier in the near future as construction for the expansion has begun.

Surveyors are on site and machines are preparing for the 600-seat expansion that is coming to the Colwood-based school.

Construction is expected to start this month and continue into July 2020 with the expansion set to open in September 2020.

Late last year, Knappett Projects Inc. — the group leading the expansion — along with another construction team submitted proposals for the expansion.

READ MORE: Major expansion coming to Royal Bay Secondary

“We’ve been hoping for this expansion since the school opened and we’re happy the government approved funding so quickly for this project,” said Ravi Parmar, SD62 board chair. “We continue to work closely with the provincial and local governments to add additional learning spaces to our fast-growing school district.”

Royal Bay was over capacity when it opened its doors in 2015. It was originally built to hold 800 students but the expansion will bring that number to 1,400.

The school was designed with the expansion in mind. Without it, projections show the school would be at 177 per cent capacity by 2026.

READ MORE: Royal Bay secondary in Colwood already over capacity

“It is great to see this expansion moving forward so more Royal Bay students will soon be learning in positive, healthy spaces — not in portables,” said Minister of Education Rob Fleming. “We got to work quickly with the Sooke School District to support Royal Bay and other projects in the fast-growing community and we’ll continue working together to improve schools for students.”

When the expansion was announced last spring, it was also announced that the province will provide $23.2 million for the expansion. The Sooke School District is contributing $2 million to the project.

shalu.mehta@goldstreamgazette.com


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