The new Centre Mountain Lellum Middle School opened its doors to students on Monday (Nov. 14).
The delayed opening comes after supply chain issues and labour shortages kept the school’s doors from opening when the new school year started.
Despite those setbacks, Sooke School District board chair Ravi Parmar said the school came in on budget. There are still construction teams on site, finishing some of the interiors of the rooms, some lighting and doing landscaping work outside the school.
“A lot of work that’s going to be happening outside on landscaping, there’s going to be a little creek that connects the two schools, that’s relatively important. But they’ll continue working on that in the meantime. So there’ll be a little bit of noise for the kids here at Centre Mountain as there has been for Pexsisen over the last couple of months. But coming back next calendar year, hopefully all the construction will be completed and we’ll be able to move on to our next project.”
Since September, Grade 6 students have been going to Spencer Middle School, Grade 7 students to PEXSISEN Elementary School, and Grade 8 students have been going to Dunsmuir Middle School.
“Spencer and Dunsmuir are great schools, as is Journey, our other middle school, but (the students) feel pretty proud to call CML their new home.”
The school has a capacity for 700 students in Grades 6 to 8 and is located on the same property as the new 500-seat PEXSISEN Elementary School, which opened back in September.
The site for both schools was bought in December 2017, costing $25 million in total, with $23.4 million coming from the province and $1.6 million from the Sooke School District. In total, the province has given $65.1 million in funding for the site.
In the past five years, the Ministry of Education and Child Care has spent $227 million to create 2,280 new student seats in SD62, including a new 480-seat elementary school in south Langford and a 600-seat expansion at Royal Bay Secondary, as well as site purchases for three future schools.
“More and more families are moving to Langford, and now they have another great school right in their backyard,” Premier John Horgan, MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca, said in a statement.