(Black Press file photo)

Surrey to be short portables in September

Surrey School District had to create 168 new classrooms this year

The Surrey School District says not all of the 50 new portables it has on order will arrive in time for the first day of classes.

However, spokesman Doug Strachan says the situation will be manageable in the interim.

“Our approach is to ensure the portables we receive in time (almost 40) are installed at the schools that have little or no alternative or practical back-up plan,” he told the Now-Leader. “About a dozen needed portables that we anticipate may be a late have been designated for schools that have space that can reasonably and temporarily be used as classrooms, such as a common area. Most of these are schools that need only one portable.

“We expect all the portables will be here within two to three weeks of school start up.”

With the new 50 portables, Surrey will have about 325 district-wide.

The district was tasked with finding 168 new classrooms in Surrey this year. Thirty of those new classrooms are due to normal enrolment growth, and 138 are a result of the 2016 Supreme Court ruling that restored class size and composition to pre-2002 levels.

Strachan said the district found 115 of those within existing schools.

There was initially concern after it was revealed the district would need to take some non-teaching classrooms, such as computer labs, and turn them into classrooms.

Although some wondered if spaces like music rooms and libraries would be lost, Surrey school board chair Shawn Wilson has said there’s “not a chance” that therapy rooms and libraries would remain untouched.

“The reality is this, if there was a school that had say a music room but it was not being utilized, like maybe it was a periodic thing, not being utilized as best as possible, then it may be used for teaching,” Wilson said in April.

However, he added, that would be “very rare and unusual.”

But after doing an audit of their space, the district was left with another 50 classrooms to create to fill the 168 quota, so it ordered 50 portables last spring.

While not all may be in place when school starts, the district says it has a “prioritization plan in place to ensure schools that need them most, receive available portables first.”

The 168 classrooms equate to the number that would be required during five years of typical enrolment, according to the district.

All of the new classrooms have been added to elementary schools.

Meantime, Surrey is expected to welcome an additional 800 to 1,000 students this fall, bringing total enrolment in the district to about 71,000.

While there are some new schools in the works, and several additions, the district says only one new project will be complete for kids this coming school year, and that’s the 1500-capacity Salish Secondary (at 184th Street and 73rd Avenue) which is set to open in the spring of 2018.

Then, in the fall of 2018, a 200-space addition to Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary is set to be done.

A new 600-space Clayton North Elementary is expected to open in the fall of 2019, and a new 1,500-capacity Grandview Heights Secondary in the fall of 2020.


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

Just Posted

COVID-19: Daily update on pandemic in Surrey, White Rock and beyond

Provincial Health Officer officially bans overnight kids’ camps this summer

Surrey RCMP look for missing man

Tyler Ridout, 36, last seen near Balsam Crescent and 136th Street

Police watchdog investigating death of man in Delta

Independent Investigations Office asking for witnesses to May 29 incident at Tsawwassen ferry terminal

Safe Surrey under fire for ‘sickening’ social media posts accusing RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

B.C. government releases designs for new Pattullo Bridge

Project expected to cost $1.377 billion, completed by end of 2023

QUIZ: Test your knowledge of the world of summer sports

In a typical year, there are plenty of summer sporting events and tournaments held across Canada

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

We’re asking you to lock arms with us, as we look to better days ahead

Protesters rally against anti-black, Indigenous racism in Toronto

Police estimated the crowd to be between 3,500 and 4,000 and said there was no violence

Feds earmark $1.5M to support recovery of B.C., Indigenous tourism

B.C. money will be split between Vancouver Island and Indigenous tourism

‘We’re sick of it’: Anger over police killings shatters U.S.

Tens of thousands marched to protest the death of George Floyd

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

Most Read