Surrey’s historic Strawerry Hill hall was been damaged in a fire on Thursday, April 29. The site was currently under construction, preparing for a new preschool to open in the fall. (Photo: Lauren Collins)

Surrey’s historic Strawerry Hill hall was been damaged in a fire on Thursday, April 29. The site was currently under construction, preparing for a new preschool to open in the fall. (Photo: Lauren Collins)

Plans ‘on pause’ after ‘devastating’ fire at Surrey’s historic Strawberry Hill Hall

Summer camp was scheduled for July/August, preschool to open in September

Ryan Gallagher says it’s “going to take some time to figure out next steps” for Surrey’s historic Strawberry Hill Hall, following a “devastating” fire last week.

READ ALSO: Historic Strawberry Hill Hall has ‘extensive damage’ after early morning fire in Surrey, April 29, 2021

The site was currently under construction as part of a $1.2-million rehabilitation project that was expected to be completed sometime in June, as a place for new preschool and childcare spaces, and community rentals.

Located at 75th Avenue and 121st Street, the Strawberry Hill structure is among the oldest community halls in the city, and is listed on the Canadian Register of Historic Places (historicplaces.ca).

The hall, built in 1909, was in the process of being renovated, which involved moving the hall a few metres away from the street corner, to make the intersection safer for motorists and pedestrians, according to city hall.

READ ALSO: Surrey’s historic Strawberry Hill Hall being moved a few metres in $1.2M reno project, Oct. 29, 2020

Gallagher, the city’s manager of heritage administration, said “things are on pause there related to that project, unfortunately, with the very devastating fire.”

He noted it’s “still so early in the process.”

“The fire was Thursday morning, it’s Tuesday now. We’re still trying to figure out next steps. It’s a complicated process as you can imagine,” Gallagher told the Now-Leader. “I wish I could tell you more.”

He said the city has received “many comments” from the community about how sad they are to see this happen.

“The hall was a heritage building used by the community since 1909. The city was committed to rehabilitating the special heritage venue … and the range of programs we were going to offer there. It was going to be an exciting project at the neighbourhood level.

“It’s definitely disappointing to lose a building like this because you don’t get the original back, of course.”

Surrey Fire Service received multiple calls around 5 a.m. on Thursday (April 29) that the 112-year-old hall was on fire.

Steve Serbic, Surrey Fire Service assistant chief of operations, said when crews arrived on scene, the fire was already through the roof.

He said there was “extensive damage” to the community hall.

Jason Cairney, Surrey Fire Service deputy chief, said Tuesday (May 4) that the department worked with Surrey RCMP to determine if the fire was suspicious, and following a preliminary investigation, they’re treating it as “accidental.”

“However, we did need to demolish the building partially, take the roof off to make it safe for investigators to go inside and have a closer look.”

That work is ongoing, Cairney said.

– With files from Tom Zillich



lauren.collins@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Lauren on Twitter

fire

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

Just Posted

Fraser Health held a COVID-19 vaccine clinic at Gurdwara Dukh Nivaran Sahib in Surrey, which would be in what the BCCDC refers to as the Panorama community, on Friday, May 7, 2021. Roughly 400 people pre-registered to get their vaccine the week before. (Photo: Lauren Collins
Surrey communities recording more COVID-19 cases also seeing lower vaccination rates

Those same communities were highlighted in the SPEAK survey, which highlighted disparities in the city

Twenty-nine staff members at Sunrise Poultry Processors Ltd. in Newton have tested positive for the virus, according to an information bulletin from Fraser Health Saturday (May 8). The health authority issued a 10-day closure order, effective May 7. (Image: Google Maps)
29 staff test positive for COVID-19 at Surrey poultry processing plant

Meantime, outbreak over at Surrey Memorial Hospital

The College of Massage Therapists of B.C. says Van (William) Dinh, a registered massage therapist in Surrey and Langley, has had his licence suspended while an inquiry committee panel investigates allegations of sexual misconduct. (Unsplash photo)
Surrey massage therapist suspended amid sexual misconduct investigation

CMTBC received complaint Van (William) Dinh allegedly exposed ‘sensitive areas of the patient’s body’

Hundreds gathered for a candlelight vigil Friday evening (May 7) to remember 29-year-old corrections officer Bikramdeep Randhawa, who was killed in last weekend’s brazen daylight shooting outside North Delta’s Scottsdale Centre mall. (James Smith photo)
Hundreds gather to remember victim of North Delta shooting

Corrections officer Bikramdeep Randhawa, 29, was killed in what police say was a targeted incident

TEASER PHOTO ONLY
Surrey woman a face of World Ovarian Cancer Day campaign in London, New York

‘It’s so important we find better treatments,’ Catherine Eiswerth says

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

The dash cam footage, taken May 7 at 8:18 a.m. belonged to the driver of a southbound vehicle that recently travelled out of the tunnel. (Reddit/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Dash cam captures dramatic rollover crash on Highway 99

Only one person sustained injuries from the collision, says B.C. Ambulance Services

Chevy stranded on a ledge above a rocky canyon at Mimi Falls near Logan Lake, April 28, 2021. (Photo credit: Margot Wikjord)
Police officer and fire chief team up in risky rescue of stranded dog near Logan Lake

Chevy, a rescue dog, needed rescuing again after getting stuck on a ledge above rocky canyon

Police were on the scene of a fatal shooting in Abbotsford. (Black Press Media files)
B.C. government to give more than $8 million for programs to curb gang violence

221 not-for-profit projects led by local governments and school districts among others will receive a one-time grant

Vancouver Giants earned a 6-2 victory over the visiting Kelowna Rockets Friday night, May 7, in Kamloops (Allen Douglas/special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Vancouver Giants down Kelowna Rockets 6-2

Two short-handed goals for Langley-based team

<a href="Facebook users reported seeing a body on the side of the road this morning." target="_blank"></a>Facebook users reported seeing a body on the side of the road this morning. (File photo)
Man killed in fatal hit-and-run collision between Abbotsford and Chilliwack

Body reported at 6 a.m., police close North Parallel Road, single highway lane as they investigate

Most Read