December 2020

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D E C E M B E R 2 0 2 0 | 53 Royal Bay Secondary School Expansion ROYAL BAY SECONDARY SCHOOL EXPANSION by LAURIE JONES W ith the ever-expanding pop- ulation on Vancouver Island, the need for schools has also grown to satisfy burgeoning enrolment from elementary grades to universi- ties. The Royal Bay Secondary School in Colwood, B.C. outgrew their space almost as soon as the original building was completed in 2015, but funding was not available until 2019 to complete the Sooke School District's vision. Today, however, 1,200 students are enjoying a state-of-the-art facility that has become a model for future school builds. "The Royal Bay development has grown significantly in recent years and before we built the school, there was absolutely nothing there but a gravel pit," says Windy Beadall, lead educator, capital planning, School District #62 (Sooke), and former prin- cipal of the Royal Bay Secondary School. "The first two show homes in the project were across the road from my office and the project grew very quickly. The school was origi- nally built to a capacity of 800 and we opened with 850 students. By the beginning of the second year we had two portables on site. We've increased the number by more than 100 students per year since then." The expansion to the original building included adding another three-storey wing. "When we started the project, the school superintendent made it clear that we didn't want it to look like an extension," says Beadall. "Except for the fact that it looks newer, the average person would never know that part of the school is an add-on." Among the many unique aspects to the school's design, the aviary is the heart of the school. "It's a warm, wel- coming space that can accommodate 400 to 500 people. Because it's so big, bright and open, students love gather- ing there," Beadall explains. "You can see the aviary from several different levels of the school. It includes a small stage and sometimes we have perfor- mances by Indigenous people who sing songs that resonate through the entire school. The designers did a great job of acoustics so performances are not too loud. Our school band will also play for the students sporadically. The school administrators will often sit in the avi- ary and be accessible to students." Colour coding plays a signifi- cant role at the Royal Bay Secondary School, with the educational wing being green, the gyms are blue, and the fine arts classes are orange. This makes it easy for students to navi- gate through the school. The colours extend to the outside of the building as well. R EN D ER I N GS CO U RT E SY S O O K E S C H O O L D I S T R I C T #62 11:06 AM 7:47 AM 10:30 AM

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