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Surrey Reopens School to Help Ease Overcrowding

April 04, 2011

Surrey - The City of Surrey and the Surrey School District are partnering to reopen the former East Clayton Elementary School in September 2011 to help address overcrowding issues at Hazelgrove Elementary School in Cloverdale.

"The City of Surrey and the Surrey school district have been continually advocating for the Provincial Government to build new schools in Surrey in order to address the serious overcrowding concerns that exist," says Mayor Dianne Watts. "Surrey's school district has grown by 4,000 students in the last four years and our schools were already at capacity. As a result, there are over two hundred portables in use, fourteen of those are at Hazelgrove Elementary."

The City will lease the East Clayton Elementary School building, which contains five classrooms, and the surrounding land to the school district from April 1, 2011 through to the end of June 2013. The facility will be used as an annex to Hazelgrove Elementary School.

"Our board has recognized the need for a new elementary school in the East Clayton area of Cloverdale for some time and it continues to be at the top of our board's five-year capital plan submission to the Ministry of Education," says Surrey Board of Education Chair Laurae McNally. "Reusing the former East Clayton school space with the assistance of the City of Surrey is another example of how our board is doing its best to manage our district's growth while faced with a lack of new school funding. The City's support is also another great example of how we are working together to benefit our community."

Hazelgrove Elementary is currently facing the following classroom shortages:

2010/2011 School year:

  • 11 portables for classrooms
  • 2 portables for other instructional use (PE, Music)
  • 1 portable washroom building

2011/2012 School year:

  • 12 portables for classrooms
  • 2 portables for other instructional use (PE, Music)
  • 1 portable washroom building

(Note: A four classroom addition is currently under construction at Hazelgrove Elementary School and is expected to be completed for opening in September 2011)

2012/2013 School year:

  • 15 portables for classrooms
  • 2 portables for other instructional use (PE, Music)
  • 1 portable washroom building

"The Surrey school district has not received any funding for new schools since 2005, despite our rapidly growing population." says Mayor Watts. "We need new schools to be built. We need to get our children out of portables. We will continue to advocate on behalf of students, parents and teachers to ensure we start receiving the capital funding we desperately need."

In 2010, Surrey property owners paid school-related property taxes totalling $114 million, and this amount will increase as growth and development continues. Based on school district estimates, the Province would need to provide approximately $250 million in capital funding to address current capacity constraints.

East Clayton Elementary School is located on City property at 18680 – 72 Avenue and is currently vacant. The school, used for kindergarten to Grade 3, was closed in June 2009 to move students to the nearby Clayton Elementary School which had Grades 4 to 7. Site and facility improvements to the school building will be completed over the summer.

A decision will be made by the school district within the next few weeks regarding the classes that will be located at East Clayton Elementary, which will be known as Hazelgrove Annex for the duration of its use.

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Media Contact:

Tara Foslien
Senior Communications Specialist
Office of the Mayor

Doug Strachan
Manager, Communication Services
Surrey School District