(BC Government)

The BC government has announced a new collaborative post-secondary school campus will be constructed in Langford.

The campus will cost an estimated $98 million to build and will be constructed at the corner of Goldstream Avenue and Peatt Road, formally occupied by the Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church.

The land was recently purchased by Royal Roads University (RRU) in March.

The campus is a partnership between RRU, the University of Victoria, Camosun College and the Justice Institute of British Columbia.

The space will also include space for programming for the Sooke School District.

The province said it would commit $77.8 million toward the project, with RRU investing $19 million, UVic $1 million and $200,000 will be coming from Camosun.

Additionally, the City of Langford said they would be spending $27.5 million to construct parking for the campus and upgrading road infrastructure in the area.

The campus will serve the educational needs of students from Sooke, Langford, Colwood, View Royal, Metchosin and Highlands as well as students from First Nations throughout southern Vancouver Island, particularly those on the Westshore, including T’Sou-ke (Sooke), Pacheedaht (Port Renfrew), Scia’new (Beecher Bay), Xwsepsum (Esquimalt), Lekwungen (Songhees) and Malahat.

According to the province, the West Shore’s direct-to-post-secondary transition rates are lower than the provincial average—38% compared to the provincial average of 51%.

Residents have cited the long commute as one of the barriers to pursuing a post-secondary education.

“This investment is so important for students,” said Philip Steenkamp, president, Royal Roads University, on behalf of the partner institutions.

“As we see many more people looking for post-secondary training, this campus will allow us and our partners to offer an expanded suite of options for learners at every age and stage.”

The campus is slated to open in fall 2024 with approximately 600 students. By 2035-36, at full capacity, the campus will serve an estimated 1,300 full-time students.

“As a high school student in Langford, we’re faced with quite a long commute if we want to go to school at UVic or at Camosun, and that can really affect our decision with what school we go to,” said Connor Hogan, student, Belmont High school.

“When this new campus opens up, it will definitely help open some doors for us to study where we are, close to home.”

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