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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vancouver Police were at a White Rock home Oct. 20 to conduct a search warrant. (Aaron Hinks photo)
ERT response to White Rock home connected to homicide: police

Search underway in the 15800-block of Prospect Crescent

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. (Graeme Roy/The Canadian Press)
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of Oct. 18

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Ivan Scott. (Aaron Hinks photo)
Surrey mayor enters word war with speakers, councillor

McCallum calls brief recess after asking two speakers to leave chambers

Signs at a new COVID-19 testing and collection centre at 14577 66th Ave. in Surrey. It was relocated from an urgent primary care centre near Surrey Memorial Hospital. This new centre allows for up to 800 tests per day, which is 550 more than the previous centre, according to Fraser Health. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Surrey’s COVID-19 case count exceeds 1,800

About 800 new cases in September

Montreal-based writer Michael Foy grew up in the Newton area of Surrey. (submitted photo)
Surrey-raised writer Foy really loves to set his short stories in the city

His latest is published in ‘Canadian Shorts II’ collection

FILE – People wait in line at a COVID-19 testing facility in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, August 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
167 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death recorded as B.C. enters 2nd wave

Three new healthcare outbreaks also announced

Maple Meadows Station’s new Bike Parkade. TransLink photo
TransLink to remove abandoned or discarded bicycles from bike parkades

Rules at TransLink bike parkades ask customers to use facilities for single day use only

This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 particle isolated from a patient, in a laboratory in Fort Detrick, Md. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID/NIH via AP
At least 49 cases of COVID-19 linked to wedding in Calgary: Alberta Health

McMillan says the city of Calgary has recently seen several outbreaks linked to social gatherings

UBC geoscientists discovered the wreckage of a decades-old crash during an expedition on a mountain near Harrison Lake. (Submitted photo)
Wreckage of decades-old plane crash discovered on mountain near Harrison Lake

A team of Sts’ailes Community School students helped discover the twisted metal embedded in a glacier

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The official search to locate Jordan Naterer was suspended Saturday Oct. 17. Photo courtesy of VPD.
‘I am not leaving without my son,’ says mother of missing Manning Park hiker

Family and friends continue to search for Jordan Naterer, after official efforts suspended

A bear similar to this black bear is believed responsible for killing a llama in Saanich on Oct. 19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bear kills llama on Vancouver Island, prompting concerns over livestock

Officers could not track the bear they feel may not fear humans

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
RCMP cleared in fatal shooting of armed Lytton man in distress, police watchdog finds

IIO spoke to seven civillian witnesses and 11 police officers in coming to its decision

Most Read