After years of anticipation, construction began on South Surrey’s newest high school Friday (May 17).
With an excavator working in the distance, representatives from the province, school district and City of Surrey gathered at the site – in the 16900-block of 26 Avenue – to officially break ground on Grandview Heights Secondary.
Board of Education trustee Laurae McNally told Peace Arch News it was an occasion she’s waited eight years for.
“Finally,” she said, prior to a news conference, holding her pink hard hat in hand.
The occasion was also a symbolic groundbreaking for a new 605-seat elementary school in the Douglas neighbourhood – budgeted for up to $33.1 million – in the 17200-block of 2 Avenue.
As well, Minister of Education Rob Fleming announced funding – $6 million in all, including $3.6 million from the province and $2.4 million from the school district – to “complete the assembly of the site needed to build a much-needed elementary school in the Sunnyside neighbourhood.”
“This is exciting news for families,” Fleming told attendees.
The 630-seat Sunnyside-area school is slated for property at the corner of 20 Avenue and 165A Street.
Surrey School District officials had announced May 15 that construction contracts had been awarded for the high school and the elementary school.
Fleming on Friday confirmed Port Moody-based Yellowridge Construction Ltd. will be building the secondary school, while Clark Construction won the elementary school contract.
The 1,500-seat secondary school is anticipated to open in September 2021 – a year later than initially hoped. Fleming said the province had to add $32.6 million to the budget “to ensure it could go ahead and benefit students as fast as possible.”
Last October, school district officials confirmed the project had been delayed as a result of “changing market conditions” that meant it could no longer be built within its $60.6 million budget.
Spokesman Doug Strachan told PAN that actual construction costs will be around $68 million, with the balance to cover costs of necessary infrastructure such as sewer and roads.
In addition to Fleming, Board of Education chair Laurie Larsen and acting Mayor Laurie Guerra spoke at Friday’s event.