Input sought for new West Shore schools
The public is invited to contribute their ideas for two new high schools planned for the West Shore.
Open houses will be held in the north gymnasium of Belmont Secondary School on Jacklin Road on March 28 and 29 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and March 31 from noon to 3 p.m.
The schools, to be located at Glen Lake and Royal Bay, will accommodate 1,200 high school students in Grades 9 through 12 and replace the aging Belmont Secondary.
The Sooke School District hopes to take advantage of a new Ministry of Education program that allows schools to incorporate up to 15 per cent additional space for services or programs that address community needs.
“Now’s the time that people can have some say in design and programs to be offered in the schools,” said Jim Cambridge, superintendent for School District No. 62 (Sooke).
There is strong interest in enhanced athletics and providing ways for students to get more exercise in and out of school, as well as in establishing Langford as a centre for high-performance athletes, Cambridge said.
Another idea is to increase the communities’ cultural facilities, with additions such as a performing arts centre, theatre or community centre.
The schools could also include medical clinics, Cambridge said.
“Youth have a hard time accessing doctors, quite often, and having it within the school could be really beneficial.”
School board chairwoman Wendy Hobbs said it’s important that parents and others in the community come out to the open houses and offer ideas.
“Even the parents who now have kids in kindergarten and elementary school, these are the parents we really want out,” Hobbs said.
“Public input is what the board is really looking for.
This process has been going on for more than 10 years. We want the opinion of parents and community members.”