Simon Fraser University and Kwantlen Polytechnic University have put their stamps on Surrey’s core, and now it’s UBC’s turn.
The latter revealed Tuesday it is purchasing $70 million worth of prime Surrey real estate, at the southeast corner of King George Boulevard and Fraser Highway, to expand its operations south of the Fraser River. Situated on three acres, what educational programming will be available there will be the focus of a consultation process to begin next year.
The net effect will be increased access, physically anyway, to local post-secondary institutions of quality to residents south of the Fraser River, more seats available to local students, less commuting time and travelling distance, and of course, choice.
It will also mean more jobs, attract more activity in research and possibly the fine arts, and make Surrey even more worthy of having a street that’s named University Drive.
For most students it would be a dream come true, given what will be a bounty of education opportunities here in Surrey, if these institutions of higher learning found themselves cutting the costs of tuition, not unlike kitty corner gas stations engaged in pricing wars, to stay competitive. But don’t hold your breath.
UBC has wisely chosen to locate its expansion next to King George SkyTrain station, from where the line to Fleetwood and Langley will begin and is expected to be completed by 2028.
Surrey is on a boom, as it has been for a few decades now. This is good news, but also underscores the challenge to maintain a livable city for all of its residents.