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B.C. government says planning underway for new high school in Langford

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The British Columbia government says planning is underway to construct a new high school in Langford, west of Victoria.

In a statement Tuesday, the Ministry of Education said it has given the greenlight to the Sooke School District to begin developing a business case for the new secondary school.

The school district, which encompasses the West Shore communities of Langford, Colwood, Highlands, Metchosin, Sooke and Port Renfrew, is considered one of the fastest growing in the province with more than 13,000 students currently enrolled.

The business case is expected to take roughly eight months to complete before it can proceed to the design phase, if approved by the province.

Langford-Juan de Fuca MLA Ravi Parmar, who served as a school board trustee in the district for nearly a decade before his election to the legislature last year, said he is "proud" to announce the plan after advocating for new schools on the West Shore for years.

"The creation of a new, modern school for students to live, play and grow is going to benefit Langford for generations to come," Parmar said in the statement.

Sooke school board chair Amanda Dowhy said the district will deliver a proposal to the province that makes the most efficient use of district lands and resources possible.

"In recent years, our experiences in school construction and design have underscored the vital importance of community engagement, particularly in shaping secondary sites," Dowhy added.

Over the past seven years, the Sooke school district has received approximately $270 million in provincial funding to create more than 2,600 new student seats, including the construction of Pexsisen Elementary School and Centre Mountain Lellum Middle School in Langford, and the 480-seat SĆIȺNEW̱ SṮEȽIṮḴEȽ Elementary School, which is expected to open in Langford in 2025.

The province has also funded additions at two elementary schools in the district – David Cameron Elementary and Ruth King Elementary – which will add 190 seats to each school when completed later this year, according to the ministry.

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