Empty Langley school already needs portables for Yorkson

The LEED certified Yorkson Area Middle School won’t open until September but the Langley School District has already added three second-hand portables.

The $26.2 million school is being constructed to accommodate 750 students and opens September 2014.

“The projected enrolment at that school is already over its capacity,” explained secretary-treasurer David Green.

The district’s forecasted enrolment of about 800 students for the coming school year and within two to three years, the numbers are expected to exceed 1,000.

“We had the good fortune to acquire these portables at a reasonable price,” he said. “We do know we are going to need them.”

The portables cost about $60,000, purchased from a private school. There will be additional costs for spruce up and installation but those figures aren’t known yet.

Green said now was an opportune time to acquire and install the three portables during the construction phase of the new school.

It would have been disruptive and more costly to add them after the school year started and all the school construction had been completed.

“It sorely emphasises the need there,” Green said.

The three portables brings the middle school capacity to over 900 students.

Even if the forecasts call for more than 1,000 kids in the middle school’s catchment, there just isn’t anymore room there to add portables so the district will have to find other solutions.

Once this school is open, the catchments for other Willoughby schools and grade configurations at R.E. Mountain are expected to change.

The district continues to lobby the Ministry of Education for more student spaces in the Willoughby area but the province does not fund student spaces until the kids show up, even though the planning and construction processes take time.

“We’re still working with the Ministry [of Education] and the Township,” Green said.

The Langley district contends that another middle school or secondary school is already needed in one of the few areas in the province seeing student enrolment increase.

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