Oak Bay High FAQs

  • When will the new Oak Bay High School officially open?
    The new 151,000 square foot high school will open its doors to the first cohort of students on September 8, 2015.  The new school replaces the two buildings that comprise the existing Oak Bay Secondary School.  The original Oak Bay High opened in 1929 and a second building plus substantial additional classroom space was added in the 1960s.  
    Why is a new school required?
    The current Oak Bay High school ranges in age from 50 to 85 years old.  Facilities are at the end of their useful lives and the cost of upgrading these old facilities to meet current seismic requirements exceeds the cost of a new school.  A new school will create a dramatically improved learning environment for students and the opportunity to significantly expand community access to school based facilities and programs.
    What makes this an innovative 21st Century School?
    It was designed over a period of several years with a great deal of professional and public consultation.  This state-of-the-art facility is tailored for collaborative learning and a ‘hands-on’ approach to critical thinking that will provide our students with the tools, skills and drive to succeed in the 21st Century.  

    Open, welcoming and flexible 

    • Two and three story atrium along full length of the school
    • Soft light and generous connections and views to the outdoors
    • Glassed-in learning spaces for sharing and creating a sense of purpose and community
    • Potential for reconfiguration of classrooms into multidisciplinary pods
    A collaborative environment for working and learning by individuals and teams
    • Design/organization of facilities in curricular disciplines for staff collaboration
    • Sound-proof, folding walls for every other classroom for student/staff collaboration
    • Flexible furniture for quick reconfigurations and groupings
    • Break-out learning, mentoring, studying, collaboration and display spaces 

    Accessible to all

    • Wireless internet throughout
    • A Special Education/Learning Resource room on each floor
    • Full accessibility to learners with physical challenges
    • Integrated Neighbourhood Learning Centre - plus other spaces and facilities available to the public after school hours
    • Full site walkways and bikeways for community access and travel-through

    Real-World, 21st Century Learning

    • Library redesigned as a “Learning Commons” for  research, collaboration and production
    • Science rooms directly above Applied Technology for project-based learning
    • Counters and sinks in all learning spaces to facilitate the use of multiple media 
    • Meeting and project rooms throughout the school
    • Student stewardship of redesigned Bowker Creek behind the school

    Full Community Engagement

    • Welcoming pole carved by local aboriginal artists reflecting a history of the Lekwengen people and culture
    • Neighbourhood Learning Centre with daycare, teen centre, elder care onsite
    • State-of-the-art 420 seat community theatre
    • All-season artificial turf, lit regulation soccer pitch plus regulation rugby field
    • Five-star competition gymnasium and second gym, both with multi-purpose laser projection systems
    How many students will the school accommodate?  Where do they come from?
    The school has been built to accommodate 1300 students and about 100 staff.  Approximately 50% of our students come from our local or ‘catchment’ area, 40% come from outside of our catchment area (across Greater Victoria), and 10% are International students from all over the world.
  • How was the community involved in the design of the school?
    Once the Ministry of Education determined the need for a new building following two extensive seismic studies, a Steering Committee was created involving school, district and community representatives.  It oversaw a community Visioning Day in 2010, and helped to coordinate Oak Bay Community Association and Oak Bay High Alumni Association meetings to gain broad community input.  There were also numerous public meetings held regarding the Neighbourhood Learning Centre, and a design charret was conducted with broad representation including staff, students, parents plus community groups for both the school and the Bowker Creek Restoration Project.
    What facilities and programs in the new school will be available to the community?
    In addition to the facilities in the Neighbourhood Learning Centre (described below), the competition and teaching gymnasiums, the fields, the fitness centre, the Applied Arts shops, the Home Economics labs and the 420 seat theatre are all available for use outside of school hours.  Access to all but the theatre will be facilitated and coordinated by the Oak Bay Recreation Centre in partnership with School District 61.
    What is a Neighbourhood Learning Centre?
    The NLC space is integrated into the new school building as a direct resource for the surrounding community outside of school hours.  It will be operated by the local Recreation Centre.  There will be licensed before and after school day care in five purpose-built, licensed activity rooms.  In addition, a 1300 square foot Youth Centre will have its own kitchen, washrooms, state-of-the-art television, surround sound and computers, plus pool table, foosball and table tennis. 
  • How much will the new school cost?
    The capital budget provided by the Province of BC is $54 million and the project is on time and on budget.  In addition to the budget from the Province, there is supplemental funding required to fully implement the vision for Oak Bay High that was defined collaboratively by educators and community representatives.  The necessary supplemental funding is $1.7 million to complete facilities such as the community theatre, the year round soccer field and technology and furnishings to fully capitalize on the outstanding learning environment that will be available in the new school.  
    Why wasn’t this additional funding included in the original budget?
    The BC Government, through the Greater Victoria School District #61, contributed $51,455,000.00 to the project.  This is on the basis of a formula to build a high quality school and Neighborhood Learning Centre.  Theatres, turfed fields and technological enhancements are not normally funded in this way as they are not needed or desired by all schools and communities.  To assist us with the construction of a theatre, the Municipality of Oak Bay contributed $1,000,000.00.
    Where is the additional funding going to come from?
    With the support of parents, staff and alumni, we have begun an “Opening the Doors” fundraising campaign to raise the additional $1.7 million required to complete the school.  We are approaching individuals, groups, businesses, and granting institutions.  We offer a variety of ways to contribute and are taking great care both to ensure that the raised funds are fully directed to the new school areas of need and our donors are fully tax receipted and publicly acknowledged (in accordance with their personal and business preferences).
  • What is the ‘Opening the Doors’ fundraising campaign?
    The Opening the Doors fundraising campaign is an initiative by organizations associated with the new Oak Bay High School to generate supplemental funding required to fully achieve the vision of the new school as defined by educators and the community during the design phase.  In particular, the funding from the campaign will complete the facilities that extend the new Oak Bay High into an educational and community asset that is utilized 7 days a week, 15 hours a day.  
    Who is involved in the Opening the Doors campaign?
    The Opening the Doors fundraising campaign is a collaborative effort of partners led by Oak Bay High School.  The partners include the Parents Advisory Committee, Alumni Association and Administration of Oak Bay High, School District 61 Administration, the District of Oak Bay and Bays United Football Club.
    What is the Opening the Doors fundraising target?  How will the funds be used?
    The Opening the Doors fundraising target is $1.7 million.  The funds will be used for:
    Academics – technology for 40 learning spaces in the building $120,000
    Performing Arts – seats, curtains and audio-visual for new theatre $200,000
    Athletics – turfed, lit soccer field, technology, fitness centre equipment $1,280,000
    Furnishings – flexible, functional furniture to optimize spaces $100,000


    Who is expected to contribute to the fundraising campaign?
    The fundraising campaign is a unique opportunity to invest in the future, equipping the next generations of citizens with the education and skills necessary to be leaders in business, arts, public service and communities.  The campaign funds will also strengthen the community by creating the facilities and equipment that will ensure access for community based programs.  As schools such as the new Oak Bay High are only built once every 75 to 100 years, it truly is an investment opportunity of a lifetime and will be attractive to residents and businesses of Oak Bay, alumni and past faculty of Oak Bay High, as well as current and future students and parents.
Rediscover OBH
  • Testimonials
    "The new Oak Bay High School will offer extraordinary opportunities for all Oak Bay residents. In addition to providing a state-of-the-art educational facility for our children, the Neighbourhood Learning Centre will expand program opportunities for every age group."
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    Nils Jensen
    Mayor, Oak Bay