More school space for Surrey students

Largest school district in B.C. receives money for new schools, additions and land.



It’s been a long, long time coming, but Surrey will finally be able to build some new school space for its ever-growing number of students.

The provincial government is providing $300 million in capital funding to be spent on 19 projects in seven school districts throughout B.C. Of the 19 projects, eight are in Surrey, totaling about $102 million.

The money targets expansions to two high schools – Fraser Heights Secondary, which has 16 portables on site, and Panorama Ridge Secondary, where there are 14 portables.

Also planned are two new elementary schools in the rapidly growing neighbourhoods of South Newton and East Clayton, as well as money to purchase land for four new schools – two elementary and two secondary – in the hopes of eventually relieving severe overcrowding at Earl Marriott Secondary (EMS) and Lord Tweedsmuir (LT) Secondary.

With no new school capital provided since 2005, about 250-plus portables littering local school grounds and EMS and LT forced to adopt an extended timetable this year, the money couldn’t have come soon enough.

Surrey Board of Education chairperson Laurae McNally was thrilled her board’s longtime plea for funds was finally heard.

“It’s a wonderful day in the neighbourhood,” she repeated, in reference to children’s entertainer Mr. Rogers. “This announcement addresses our most immediate needs.”

Some Surrey Civic Coalition (SCC) trustee candidates slammed Monday’s funding announcement at Hazelgrove Elementary, saying it’s simply not enough and Surrey requires six schools now and another eight in the next five years just to keep pace with growth.

“Surrey needs more than this,” acknowledged Premier Christy Clark , saying it wouldn’t be the last funding announcement made. “There’s more to do, there’s no doubt about it.”

McNally remained grateful.

“Considering we’re getting a third of what’s announced for the entire province, we’re very happy, especially in these tough economic times,” she said.

While pleased some funding is heading to Surrey, Bob Holmes, co-chair of Surrey’s District Parent Advisory Council (DPAC), was glad to hear Clark say more money would be coming.

Even if construction were to start now, it takes at least three years to build a school.

“Earl Marriott and Lord Tweedsmuir need a solution today,” said Surrey Teachers’ Association president Denise Moffatt. “It’s high time Surrey’s needs got addressed.”

McNally said the district will move quickly, with staff immediately scouting potential school land sites and architects secured within a week or two.

Other new and upgraded schools were announced for the Central Okanagan, Langley, Richmond, Vancouver, Sooke and the Conseil scolaire francophone.

An additional $30 million has been committed by Surrey through development cost charges, while Sooke will provide $30 million from a school sale.

Just Posted

City, RCMP tackling “distressed” Surrey properties

The idea is to improve public safety and social concerns in Surrey’s neighbourhoods

White Rock restaurant serving up support for youth mental health

June 25 fundraiser at Uli’s organized in honour of the late Anthony Bourdain

Annual party at Science World helps fund Surrey student field trips there

Video by Newton-area student Ali Naqib shows him and classmates at 30-year-old Vancouver landmark

Surrey RCMP searching for missing 15-year-old Aboriginal girl

Police say Megan Hindmarch was last seen in the 12400-block of 97B Street at 8 p.m. on June 18

OUR VIEW: Silos won’t solve overcrowding in Surrey’s schools

It’s going to take a concerted team effort from all levels of government to improve this situation

VIDEO: Rare white killer whale captured by drone near Campbell River

The transient orca has been named Tl’uk, a Coast Salish word that means ‘moon.’

B.C. imposes interim moratorium on resource development to protect caribou

The caribou population in northeastern B.C. has dwindled over the last two decades

B.C. sculptor depicts epic eagle battle in latest piece that took 2,500 hours

Clasped in one of the raptor’s talons is each one’s desire: a living venomous diamondback rattlesnake

Students disciplined after anti-LGBTQ signs posted in Kamloops high school

Vessy Mochikas, SD73’s principal for inclusive education, called incident a learning opportunity

Air Canada expects Boeing 737 Max to resume flying by September or October

Air Canada isn’t worried about safety of the planes, says vice-president

‘The Fonz’ gives thumbs up in letter to dyslexic students at B.C. school

Students in Maple Ridge reached out to Henry Winkler after reading one his Zipster books.

B.C. teen killed by falling tree near Victoria

Second youth also injured in freak incident during field trip at Camp Barnard near Sooke

Commercial fishers in B.C. now required to wear life-jackets on deck: WorkSafeBC

WorkSafeBC reports 24 work-related deaths in the commercial fishing industry between 2007 and 2018

Most Read

l -->