Construction of the 89 000 square foot (8279 square-metre) Gulf Islands Secondary School began in May, 1992 with a project cost of just over 13 million dollars. The school opened in September 1994 with 678 students in grades 8 through 12. Salt Spring Middle School opened the following year in the old high school with students from grades 6 through 8, leaving GISS with grades 9 through 12.
At the time of opening, GISS was one of only a handful of buildings in British Columbia with ‘ground source’ heat; 20 kilometres of pipe collected heat five feet under the playing fields. And another 40 kilometres of pipe in the school’s floors provided radiant heat. The trend continues as the school now sports a huge solar array on the gym roof.