An artist’s rendering of a new Catholic school set for South Surrey, St. John Paul II Academy, which is to be built near 184 Street and 24 Avenue. (Contributed image)

New South Surrey Catholic school eyes 2018 opening

‘Bold new initiative’ will have temporary home until new facility is built

A new private Catholic high school is set to open on the Semiahmoo Peninsula, and is eyeing a 2018 opening date.

The new school, St. John Paul II Academy, is set to open in September 2018, according to a news release issued Monday.

The new school will temporarily be on the grounds of Good Shepherd Church and Star of the Sea school – at 150 Street and 24 Avenue – while a new school campus is constructed at 184 Street, near 24 Avenue. The new facility is expected to be completed during the 2019/20 school year.

“This is a bold new initiative for the Archdiocese,” said Archbishop J. Michael Miller, head of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver.

“It has been spearheaded by a core group of professional and extremely dedicated parents, led by Troy Van Vliet. Their efforts, along with those from the superintendent’s office, have created the momentum necessary to open the doors in September 2018.”

Miller added that the new school “will help meet the growing demand for Catholic education” in South Surrey.

Michel DesLauriers has been hired as the new principal of St. John II Academy. He has “extensive teaching and administrative experience” having taught at Vancouver College, and he has also been principal of St. Thomas More Collegiate for the past six years.

“I’m absolutely delighted to be leading this new initiative,” DesLauriers said, adding that the school is expecting not just local attendees, but also a limited number of international students, as well.

A series of parent information meetings are planned for this month, beginning with on Friday, Sept. 15 at Star of the Sea School (15024 24 Ave.). A second meeting is planned for Sept. 19 at Cloverdale Catholic School (17511 59 Ave.), and a third Sept. 20 at St. Bernadette Elementary (13130 65B Ave.).

All three info sessions begin at 7 p.m.