Proposals for the now-closed Anniedale Elementary School are now being accepted by the Surrey School District.

Proposals for the now-closed Anniedale Elementary School are now being accepted by the Surrey School District.

Have a plan for Anniedale Elementary?

Surrey seeking proposals for school site.

It’s located in a commercial area near the new Golden Ears Bridge, but possible uses for the now-closed Anniedale Elementary School are now being accepted by the Surrey School District.

The traditional program at Anniedale was moved to another school last September because the neighbourhood where it was located near 97 Avenue and 176 Street was becoming less and less appropriate for a school.

According to Surrey’s communications manager, Doug Strachan, districts are required under the B.C. School Act to put out an expression of interest to see if any government agencies or community groups have a suggested use for closed schools.

Only if no reasonable proposals are received can a school district proceed with selling a property and/or building.

That is precisely what happened with Fleetwood Elementary, which was closed in June 2009. The district also asked for proposals for that site, located on 88 Avenue near 152 Street, about a year-and-a-half ago. Nothing came from that effort and now, according to Strachan, there is a request into the B.C. Ministry of Education to finally put the Fleetwood site up for sale.

The move to dispose of schools might appear at odds with the growing school district’s ongoing need for additional classroom space.

But unfortunately, Anniedale and Fleetwood are in neighbourhoods of the city where student enrolment is declining, unlike parts of Cloverdale and South Surrey, where some schools are busting at the seams and having to use multiple portables.

As well, both sites are in neighbourhoods that have changed dramatically, Strachan says. Fleetwood is surrounding by major roads on all sides (Fraser Highway, 152 Street and 88 Avenue) in a commercial area, and Anniedale is now bound by Highway 1, Pacific Highway and Golden Ears Way and is in an increasingly commercial area that’s become difficult to access.

Anniedale had the capacity for about 175 students and there is also a 1910 one-room school house with heritage designation – the fate of which remains undecided – on the site.

The deadline for proposals for Anniedale is May 19. For more information, check the link at www.sd36.bc.ca

sreynolds@surreyleader.come

Surrey North Delta Leader