Photo rendering from inside Royal Bay Secondary School (School District 62)

Colwood’s Royal Bay Secondary will be undergoing a 600-seat expansion and a new gymnasium.

The Government of British Columbia is providing $23.2 million for the project, which will include 21 classrooms and a second smaller gymnasium. The new gym will also be available for community use.

The school, which opened in 2015, was built for 800 students but is already operating at 135 per cent capacity. It projected to be at 177% by 2026, without an expansion.

The three storey addition will bring the capacity to 1,400 and is expected to reduce the need for portables at both Royal Bay and Belmont secondary schools.

The Sooke School District will contribute $2 million to the project.

“We are so happy the government is on top of how quickly our school district is growing,” said Ravi Parmar, Sooke School District board chair. “We have a lot of families moving into our district because of our schools, and we are thrilled to be able to give even more students an opportunity to learn in such an inspiring and beautiful space like Royal Bay Secondary.”

Construction on the school will begin this September. The additional student spaces are expected to be ready for classes in fall 2020.

As required by the City of Colwood, an additional 120 parking stalls will be added at the school.

In December, the province provided the Sooke School District $23.3 million to buy land in Langford with the goal of building a new elementary and middle school.

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