Edward Milne Community School is undergoing roofing renovations this summer as a part of a school enhancement project.
“Students and families use schools throughout on a daily basis so it’s important for the community that the building is functioning well and providing a good space for the staff and students to use,” said Pete Godau, director of facilities for the Sooke School District.
The School Enhancement Program is a fairly new program funded by the provincial government that recognizes school infrastructures that need to be worked on, but need more funding than a regular program would supply. The projects funded by this program are generally bigger projects such as roofing or flooring renovations.
The budget for the new roof was $1.6 million over two phases, lasting about three months per phase. Last year phase one was completed, and this year the second phase began in June and is hoped to be completed by September.
“We want to keep the staff and students comfortable in their learning environment. The new roof will make sure there are no leaks coming inside the school. The roof was almost 30 years old and you could start to see the wear and tear, so this was a project that really needed to be done,” said Godau.
The district does not plan on ending with the new roof however, within the next few years they also hope to receive funding for an “envelope project” at Edward Milne, in which it will be redone all around the outside including new stucco, windows, and doorways to protect it from the elements.
“With lots of young families moving to Sooke because of affordability, we as a district are doing everything we can to ensure that there is a nice space available for the kids to go and learn,” said Sooke School District chair Ravi Parmar.
The school is on a waiting list to get funding for the envolope project, and Parmar explained that finding funding is part of the district’s “five-year capitol plan.” These renovations in turn, will ensure the school is in good condition if they have to expand.
Parmar said right now the school has an enrolment of around 650 students, but is expected to expand to 800 in the next 10 years.
“Sooke is a growing community and we want to be prepared for the growth of secondary students out in Sooke,” said Parmar.