Trustee, parents calling for new high school on Willoughby slope

Langley board of education trustee Alison McVeigh wants to make sure the provincial government hears about the district’s need for new schools — specifically, a new high school.

At the Tuesday Nov. 26 meeting, McVeigh made a motion that was unanimously supported by the board, to meet with Langleys’ MLAs as well as the Minister of Education as soon as possible.

“It’s important to meet with the MLAs. We have growth in the Willoughby slope area, we have capital requests, land acquisitions and needs in Willoughby,” said McVeigh.

“Since the [legislature] is not sitting, I’m sure they have the time.”

In the meantime, several parents living on the Willoughby slope have begun a letter writing and social media campaign asking the Ministry of Education to approve paying for a new high school on the slope.

“While it’s true that the Langley School District submitted its capital funding requests to the Ministry of Education last year, with the number one priority listed as a new high school, no funding has yet been announced,” said RC Garnett parent Lorainne Baldwin. She is one of the parents leading the campaign.

“I am afraid that the ministry will see the two new elementary schools and the new middle school in Langley and think our needs have been met, when they have not.”

Baldwin points to R.E. Mountain Secondary which has 16 portables. Enrolment is nearing double the capacity originally intended for that school. She also believes that when the new middle school opens in September, 2014 in Yorkson, it will already be over capacity.

Langley district is one of only three in all of B.C. projecting enrolment growth.

Trustee Rod Ross suggested that Township staff join in on the meeting to emphasize the growth in Willoughby and need for new facilities.

But most trustees didn’t agree with Ross, pointing out that they didn’t want the MLAs to be distracted or have Township staff take up time by diverting the topics.

“We want their undivided attention,” said McVeigh.

District secretary-treasurer David Green agreed.

“Initially, we should just meet with them without the Township,” said Green.

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