The Sooke School District is preparing for more growth, even with two new schools set to open in September of 2022.
“We need to ensure we have schools to handle the exponential growth on the West Shore,” said Ravi Parmar, chair of the board of trustees for SD62. “The two new schools will probably reach capacity shortly after they open, so we’re already working on the logistics of adding more schools to the district.”
Pexsisen Elementary School will be home to 500 students, while Centre Mountain Lellum Middle School has a capacity of 700 students in Grade 6 to 8.
Both schools, located at the corner of Constellation Avenue and West Shore Parkway in Langford are on schedule and on budget, Parmar said.
“Premier Horgan toured the site recently and said the views from the second floor were beautiful,” he noted. “We should have the final numbers soon and it looks like another record year for enrolment.”
A little more than a month into this school year, Parmar is overwhelmed by the sense of resiliency he sees in the staff and students.
“It’s not the sense of normalcy we want (because of the pandemic) but it’s truly inspiring, the way we’ve seen the best in our community, the passion, empathy and spirit of coming together in every part of the West Shore.”
The district’s strategic plan will be completed soon, which will be the guiding force for SD62 for the next four years, he added.
“We have the best people in the district working on this, with significant input from parents and the community. It’s all about what we want to see in education in the future. Learning has changed dramatically during the pandemic, and our focus is to ensure we’re prepared for what the future entails.”
The names for the two new schools were inspired by the language of local First Nations.
Pexsisen, which means ‘the opening of hands’ or ‘to have one’s hands open,’ was gifted by the Songhees First Nation and Lellum, gifted by the Beecher Bay First Nation, means ‘house’ and the ‘idea of community, where we raise our children.’
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