A Surrey ad-hoc committee wants to raise awareness about the desperate need for new schools in the city

Funding for new Surrey schools ‘desperate’

As the start of the school year approaches, a group of concerned Surrey residents are hoping to highlight the need for new schools in the rapidly expanding city.

As the start of the school year approaches, a group of concerned Surrey residents are hoping to highlight the need for new schools in the rapidly expanding city.

Overcrowding is extremely serious at Surrey schools and there has been a lack of capital funding since 2005, said Linda Stromberg, a member of an ad-hoc committee formed in March to address the issue.

“The new Adams Road school in Cloverdale opened in January of this year, and two portables have been added,” Stromberg told Peace Arch News Friday.

“Our kids are our future and our education system is not a place where we should be economizing.”

Stromberg – who serves on the ad-hoc committee with representatives from the city, business community, teachers union, CUPE, district parent advisory councils and students – noted it will take up to five years and $273 million to build the schools Surrey needs today.

And, she added, before construction of those schools is complete, the city’s school population will grow by 4,000 to 5,000 students.

While Stromberg has heard an announcement may be on the way from the government, she said the need for immediate capital funding is urgent.

Surrey School Board chair Laurae McNally agreed.

“Oh my God, yes. There is a desperate need for new schools in Surrey,” McNally said in a phone interview.

“We needed it like yesterday. We needed (new schools) four, five years ago.”

About 900 new residents move to Surrey every month and 30 per cent of those new neighbours are under the age of 19, McNally said.

“We truly do not fit the mold of any other school district,” she said.

“It’s been an uphill battle and those (committee) parents are working very hard.”

McNally said that usually people hear about enrolment declines and schools closing in other B.C. school districts, but that’s not the case in Surrey.

The committee is urging Surrey residents to write, call or email their local MLA, the provincial ministers for education and finance and the premier to express their concerns on the issue.

Just Posted

Out with a roar: Dinosaurs take over forest at Surrey school on last week of class

Six colourful creatures painted by Grade 3 students led youngsters on an expedition in the outdoor classroom

Surrey city council cost taxpayers nearly $1M in 2018

That includes more than $151,372 in expenses from the former council

Animal advocates yowl after Delta cat severely injured in trap

Blu, a three-year-old house cat, suffered severe damage to his hind leg after being stuck in trap for days

Judge adjusts Charter award in RCMP assault case in Surrey

Former Surrey hotel manager was awarded $65,000 in damages after RCMP assaulted him

‘Epic’ Surrey Pride party to celebrate 20th anniversary at Central City Plaza

Planners of family-friendly event don’t welcome nudity

VIDEO: Killer whale steals fisherman’s catch off North Coast

Fishing duel results in eager orca snagging salmon in Prince Rupert

Fate of accused in Canadian couple’s 1987 killings in jury’s hands

William Talbott’s lawyer says DNA doesn’t prove murder

Child killed after being hit in driveway on Vancouver Island

The driver of the vehicle remained at the crash scene and is fully cooperating

Eating sandwiches, putting on makeup behind the wheel could land you a fine

RCMP say if you cause an accident while eating you could be penalized

40 cats surrendered in apparent hoarding at B.C. home

Officers found the cats living among piles of garbage and feces, suffering from fleas

Vancouver Aquarium drops cetacean ban lawsuit in new lease agreement

Ocean Wise CEO Lasse Gustavsson called the updated lease an exciting new chapter for the aquarium

Plane veers off runway, into ditch at Langley Airport

Fire, ambulance, and police are on scene

Okanagan RCMP bike patrol rolls up on alleged stolen vehicle from Burnaby

The driver, a 30-year-old Kelowna man, has been held in custody and is facing possible charges of possession of stolen property and obstructing a police officer

Man arrested after pimping investigation in Whistler

A 44-year-old man has been charged with procuring and benefiting from sexual services

Most Read

l -->