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By Julie Sprankles|Jan. 2nd, 2018

 

 

If you're in the market for a house, first of all, congrats! Buying a home is one of the most rewarding — albeit at times exasperating — things you'll do in your life. By the time you're ready to buy, you likely have a sufficient grasp on the basic necessities: a solid foundation, a roof that doesn't leak, wiring that won't cause your new home to spontaneously combust, and so on. But what about the other stuff you should be mindful of? You know, the considerations not covered during your home inspection?

These more personal assessments may not be as "dear-god-get-me-out-of-here" detrimental as a crumbling foundation, but they could likewise affect your quality of life for the foreseeable future. So here are a few things to watch for, as well as the ones you shouldn't sweat.


 

3 Things to Pay Attention To:


1. The amount of natural light

Unless you're particularly partial to living like a cave-dweller, you want your home to have ample natural light. Besides making everything inside look better, it just makes you feel better. Yet this is often glossed over by some buyers during the house hunt. If you have your sights set on a house, schedule viewings at different times of the day to get an accurate picture of the natural light situation.

If you need secondary motivation outside of how beautiful natural light is, consider this: The amount of natural light in your home could indicate bigger (read: more costly) issues. Too little and you may have to add or modify existing windows, which could run upwards of $15,000.

2. The driveway and parking situation

You may be thinking, "Really? The driveway?" To which the answer is, "Yes. Really, really." The dimensions of your driveway could very well determine how quickly your new-home infatuation fades. It may seem silly in the grand scheme of things, but consider your parking spot like an extended part of your entryway. If the drive is too narrow, you'll spend countless hours playing musical cars to squeeze vehicles in. Alternately, if it's too long and you live in an area prone to snowdrifts, you may never want to leave home during the winter months. Street parking may seem like a viable option, but some cities have strict regulations regarding visitors and even overnight parking. Be sure to ask!



3. The neighbourhood

This is the epicenter of the house hunt for many people for one readily apparent reason: You want to like the area where you live. But there are a few less obvious things to consider before you hit the local coffee shop in preparation for your first early Saturday open house. Are there ample sidewalks in case you want to take a leisurely stroll or go for a bike ride? Is it in close proximity to public transportation? If you have kids, there's little doubt you looked into the local school district. Even if you don't, though, keep in mind a better school district equals a better resale value. And, finally, read any HOA documents before you sign on the dotted line. It will be tedious beyond belief, but doing so will alert you to restrictions, bylaws, and other issues that could be unwelcome surprises down the road.



3 Things to Ignore


1. The seller's style

Don't let that Day-Glo paint in the kitchen be a deal breaker. For that matter, don't let any paint color put you off of a home you like. You can always repaint and, let's be honest, what first time home-buyer doesn't want to hand-pick their own hues anyway? Similarly, if the seller's fuzzy toilet seat cover stresses you out, don't worry — they'll take it with them when they go. It can be hard to envision your stuff in a home that currently clashes with your personal style, but try to remember decor is easily changed and offers you the opportunity to tailor things to your own tastes.

2. Clutter

Hey, life is busy, you know? Sometimes a seller just can't find the time to pack up the plethora of tchotchkes littering their living room before a showing. Cut 'em some slack (selling is just as stressful as buying) and think outside the box. Just bring a tape measure to make sure there actually is enough room for your belongings and focus on the condition of the house as opposed to its clutter.

 

3. Unsolicited opinions

You'll soon find that everyone and their brother has an opinion about your potential new home, from the color of its exterior to the quality of the finishes inside. If you feel as though a particular piece of unsolicited advice may be helpful, by all means cull that wisdom. Fortunately, though, you can simply ignore anything else. You're the one who'll be living there and paying the mortgage. Ultimately, the only person you need to please when you pick your house is you.


WANT MORE ADVICE ON HOUSE, HOME AND REAL ESTATE?  TALK TO US! 


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Jan. 23rd, 2018

Surrey LRT

 

A rendering of Surrey’s planned LRT line. (Photo: surrey.ca)

Surrey Board of Trade CEO makes case for light rail in a letter to Mayors’ Council chair Derek Corrigan

The Editor,

This is an open letter to Mayor Derek Corrigan, chair of the Mayors’ Council:

I am writing in support of Surrey’s Light Rail Transit project.

In fact, the Surrey Board of Trade would like to see all 27 kilometres of the proposed light rail to be built as soon as is feasible. In our most recent Surrey Road Survey, more than 80 per cent support to strongly support the building of the “City Centre-Guildford-Newton” and over 85 per cent support LRT along Fraser Highway through to Langley City.

Surrey is growing rapidly, and as it grows, the opportunity exists to shape it into a world-class destination in its own right. With nearly 1,000 new residents coming monthly, the need for a vision has never been more necessary. The LRT provides an opportunity to consider how to manage the growth, where to densify, how to move people, and how to create commercial space while achieving an attractive streetscape.

Businesses are on board with creating an economically viable city that is attractive to clients, customers, and employees alike. LRT sparks development along its corridors, a mid-rise, medium density, mixed-use type of development that will attract both families and business to the area while also maintaining affordability.

 

Anita Huberman, CEO of the Surrey Board of Trade.

 

We have done our due diligence and read through all available reports. We have had roundtables and panel dialogues. We have had all of our advocacy team members review material and provide feedback (12 teams with over 400 volunteers). We’ve reviewed the number of technology and route alternatives that were examined using multiple metrics to evaluate their effectiveness.

The Surrey Board of Trade has taken the position that the project should be completed in one phase to capitalize on lower construction costs and LRT fleet vehicles, and the simple fact that waiting for phase 2 will unnecessarily delay needed transit through Surrey.

We are concerned that those who oppose LRT in favour of increased buses and a SkyTrain down Fraser Highway are not fully considering what they are saying no to, or conversely what they would be saying yes to, if they in fact succeed to influence decision-makers.

 

Three things we know will occur if there is no support for LRT:

  • Increasing B-line buses will very quickly increase congestion on those routes as more and more would be required to move commuters, but they would still not be sufficient to meet anticipated future population growth as quickly as the LRT on its dedicated lanes — and within 10-15 years would need to be replaced with LRT to meet the demand.
  • The cost of the Surrey-Langley line is nearly a billion dollars more to build SkyTrain than LRT, money that can be spent elsewhere on needed infrastructure and services.
  • The ability to quickly adapt to growing town centres and expand the system through the large Surrey geography will be severely compromised by putting all available and future funding into one option.




We have observed that where the SkyTrain has gone, it encourages development only around the station, not along the line. The stations are relatively far apart and the ability for riders to view commercial options is minimized. The purpose would be to move people from one far distant point into the City of Vancouver Hub.

As it turns out, this is not necessary. Over 70 per cent of our survey respondents like to work and live south of the Fraser; and LRT encourages that liveability by also promoting affordable housing strategies along existing corridors.

Although the Pattullo Bridge and other crossings need to be improved to accommodate commuters, more are staying South of the river. Over 50 per cent live and work in Surrey, unchanged from 2016, and an additional 24 per cent commute into Surrey for employment.

Our businesses and our residents deserve a system that encourages growth along the corridors, the creation of liveable streetscapes, and the flexibility to add stops as required with the minimum of cost and disruption in the future — as well as extending the lines to loop through the city as it ought to be. We need a system that moves people around Surrey and South Fraser, with links to cross the river where appropriate to minimize congestion on river crossings.

With over 400 LRT systems worldwide, we know that this is a system that has proved itself many times over. We anticipate TransLink to release its business case very soon, so that all can likewise be assured of the value of the LRT and not rely on out-dated documents to put forward erroneous positions in the media.

We have determined that Surrey is the destination, not a thoroughfare to somewhere else. The demand for more transit increases annually, as reflected on our own surveys. Surrey is becoming the hub of the south Fraser Region. Businesses are moving here. People are moving here.



It makes no sense to build a system that by-passes the opportunity to develop and grow a city of our choosing to meet our own vision.

Without doubt, the LRT is the best system, dollar for dollar, for Surrey and South of Fraser. The Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce has also indicated their support of the Light Rail Transit transportation system, which includes the Fraser Highway line.

Anita Huberman is CEO of the Surrey Board of Trade.

 

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VANCOUVER — An upward trend in housing prices isn't expected to significantly change in British Columbia despite an anticipated slowdown in sales this year, economists say.

The B.C. Real Estate Association's chief economist said Wednesday that new housing stock, slightly higher interest rates and tighter mortgage regulations will result in about a 10 per cent decline in sales compared with 2017.

But demand continues to outpace supply in most markets from Vancouver Island to the Okanagan, which spurs rising prices, Cameron Muir said.

"We would need a combination of a pretty substantial decline in demand as well as significant increases in overall residential supply in order to get to the point in which prices would decline," Muir said.

Nationally, the Canadian Real Estate Association has said tighter mortgage regulations imposed on Monday, including a stress test for uninsured mortgages, would result in fewer sales and reduced prices by about 1.4 per cent to an average selling price of $503,100 this year. 

Bryan Yu, economist with Central 1 Credit Union, said the changes may slow the pace of first-time buyers entering the market or lead to adjustments in what people choose to buy.

While this may slow sales, particularly in the first quarter of this year, he said B.C.'s growing economy and jobs will maintain a strong demand.

"I think the overall economic drivers are still there to support rising prices through 2018," Yu said.



The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver said Wednesday the benchmark price for all residential properties was $1,050,300, in 2017, a 15.9 per cent jump from December 2016.

Sales of detached homes, townhomes and apartments reached 35,993 last year, the third highest total in a decade.

The board considers the sales total more "historically normal," marking a 9.9 per cent decrease from 2016 and down 15 per cent from the sizzling pace of 2015.

A key aspect of last year's housing market was a decline in the number of available listings, a trend the board has said can put upward pressure on prices.

Board president Jill Oudill said 54,655 properties were listed for sale in 2017, a dip of 5.1 per cent from the year earlier.

She also said market activity across the Vancouver region differed considerably in 2017 based on property type.

"Competition was intense in the condominium and townhome markets, with multiple offer situations becoming commonplace," Oudill said in a news release.

The benchmark price of condominiums leaped 25.9 per cent in the Vancouver area last year, while townhomes increased 18.5 per cent and the price for detached homes climbed 7.9 per cent.

Prices have also soared in the neighbouring Fraser Valley with the benchmark price of condominiums jumping 40.5 per cent last year to $388,600.

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Association said the benchmark for single detached homes reaching $976,400, an increase of 14.2 per cent from 2016. The price of townhomes increased by 23 per cent.

Yu said rising prices means people will increasingly be left out of the housing market.

"We're going to see an increase in renters in proportion to the population," he said. "I think that's going to be the natural evolution of this market over time."



 

University of B.C. business professor Thomas Davidoff said governments could improve affordability by encouraging the development of more units in single-family home neighbourhoods and reforming taxes.

"We have high income and sales taxes and low property taxes and that says we encourage people not really to make a living and sell stuff here, but buy property. That's the worst recipe ever for affordability," he said.

Other factors, including political instability, interest rates or natural disasters, could drive down prices, Davidoff said. More likely, a major driver of prices will be what people are willing to pay.

"I do think in the long run, Vancouver will continue to be a very difficult place to buy or to rent unless you're really rich," he said. 

Linda Givetash, The Canadian Press

 


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Is Fraser Valley the next big market in the B.C. housing sector?

 

 

Latest numbers from the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) revealed that B.C.’s southwestern region has experienced significant home price growth in February, indicating a possible companion to the red-hot Vancouver market in the near future. Last week, the Board revealed that the benchmark price for a single-family property in the Valley increased by 20.4 per cent year-over-year and 0.4 per cent compared to January, hitting $859,300.

 

 

 

 

“This is the kind of February we like to see. Last year at this time, the incredible demand created a market that was difficult for consumers,”

according to FVREB president Gopal Sahota, as quoted by CBC News.

 

 

“Now, we have sales moving upward from the winter months at a typical, healthy pace and a growing inventory to support it,”
Sahota stated, adding that the numbers are so far showing a “return to normal historical sales numbers.” Apartment prices also rose sharply by 26 per cent compared to February 2016 and 1.8 per cent month-over-month, up to $267,000. Meanwhile, average townhome costs grew by 25 per cent year-over-year and 0.5 per cent since January, reaching $422,400. Recently, Finance Minister Bill Morneau assured that the federal government is still closely monitoring the Canadian housing market, amid seemingly inexorable price growth in Vancouver and Toronto. 

 

“We continue to be very focused on thinking about how we can manage what is peoples’ most significant investment. And we do watch the level of indebtedness, in particular around housing,” Morneau stated, adding that “strong underlying markets” continue to drive the two cities’ outsized performance.  “So in Toronto and Vancouver, unemployment is lower in those two places than it is in some other places. Incomes are higher. The economy is doing better. So there are underlying reasons for the housing markets to do better and we’ll continue to monitor, to work with provinces and municipalities who have an important role to play here to manage what we see [as] a challenge, but not one that isn’t manageable.”

 

 

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Celebrated chef Vikram Vij teams with Vancouver-based Arts Umbrella to offer cooking classes to teens

Feb. 28th, 2017

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Local chef Vikram Vij is partnering with Arts Umbrella’s South Surrey arm to share his culinary expertise with teens.

The celebrated restaurateur will be offering three separate three-hour cooking workshops at My Shanti(15869 Croydon Drive, South Surrey), the youngest of his three local eateries, on March 25, April 29, and May 27. There, budding young chefs will learn the fundamentals of producing a family-style dish alongside Vij himself.

 

“I’m extremely passionate about teaching young people about Indian food,” said Vij in a media statement. “Not only that; this is a perfect partnership with Arts Umbrella. In the same way you take a script or an art assignment and add your own personality, I want these students to take a recipe and make it their own—adding extra spices, different flavours, and to adapt a recipe to something that’s uniquely theirs.”

The classes will help Arts Umbrella, a Vancouver-based non-profit that provides access to arts education for kids, expand beyond its visual art, theatre, and dance offerings to include the culinary arts.

 

 

Chef Vikram Vij’s cooking workshops are open to youth aged 13 to 18. To register for a class, contact Arts Umbrella South Surrey by emailor phone at 604-535-1127.

 

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(courtesy of urbansurrey.com)

Surrey population surpasses 500,000; doubles Vancouver in growth

tvqvafbSurrey City Centre

Census data released today by Statistics Canada has revealed that Surrey’s population has surpassed 500,000. As of May 2016 last year, the population of Surrey was 517,887, an increase from 468,251 in 2011 representing a growth rate of 10.6%, outpacing the national average, British Columbia, the City of Vancouver, and the Vancouver CMA.

In comparison, between 2011 and 2016:

  • Canada as a whole grew by 5.0%
  • British Columbia grew by 5.6%
  • City of Vancouver grew by 4.6%
  • Vancouver Census Metropolitan Area (CMA): 6.5%

The only Vancouver CMA municipality to grow faster than Surrey was the Township of Langley which grew at a rapid 12.6%. As a whole, the Vancouver CMA grew to 2,463,431.

With Surrey adding an average of 1,000 new residents per month, as of February 2017, the population of Surrey can be estimated to have already increased further to 525,000. It is expected that Surrey will surpass Vancouver in population to become the largest city in BC by 2030.



Looking at growth by Census Tract, the areas of Surrey growing the fastest were in the south and east, in places such as Grandview Heights, Sunnyside Heights, South Newton, and Clayton. There was also noticeably strong growth in Surrey City Centre as a result of new condo developments in recent years, with one Census Tract east of King George Blvd and south of 104th Avenue growing by 33%. This growth in City Centre will likely increase even more by the 2021 Census, with more new condo developments expected to be completed within City Centre in the next 5 years than in the previous 5 years.

Developable land and affordability in comparison to Vancouver can both be seen as driving factors in Surrey’s strong growth.

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Growth rate by Census Tract in Metro Vancouver


 

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Growth rate by Census Tract in North Surrey – Area east of King George Blvd and south of 104th Ave grew by 33%.

https://censusmapper.ca/maps/583#11/49.2613/-123.1145

By Stephen Hallingham|
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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Registration begins Jan. 16 for children entering kindergarten in September 2017.

Children who turn five before Jan. 1, 2018 are eligible to start school in the fall.

 


Kindergarten children 2.jpg


Kindergarten registration must be done in-person at your neighbourhood school or school of preference (if space is available). For a map of school catchment boundaries, check here and for a list of all schools, check here.

The following documents are required at the school when registering:

* proof of birth date for the students (eg. birth certificate or passport)

* proof of guardianship (eg. birth certificate or other legal documentation)

* proof of citizenship (eg. birth certificate, passport, citizenship card, landed immigrant document, permanent resident card)

* proof of address (eg. rental agreement, utility bill, driver's license)

Please note that enrolment at several schools in Surrey is already at, or over, capacity and they are therefore unable to accept out-of-catchment registrations.

Specialty and choice programs are also available. Some (French Immersion, Intensive Fine Arts, Traditional and Montessori) require online/lottery application, which begins Jan. 30. For more information or to learn about information evenings being held in January 2017, check here.

Find #SouthSurrey & #WhiteRock homes by School Catchment:


 

Logo 2016 HD


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Translink - SSWR

 

 

Date & Time: October 25, 2016 (5:30 PM - 8:30 PM)

Join the City and Translink at our White Rock open house to talk about Phase One of the 10-Year Vision, which will reduce road congestion and add new transit services in every community, starting in early 2017.

  • Date: October 25, 2016
  • Time: 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.
  • Location: White Rock Community Centre, Gallery

Public consultation on the Phase One plan runs from October 11-31, 2016. Your input will inform the final Investment Plan that's presented to the Mayors' Council and TransLink Board for consideration in November 2016.

Learn more and fill out our online questionnaire by visiting tenyearvision.translink.ca

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We would be very appreciative if you would support our Homelife Benchmark White Rock Team as we participate in the 2016 -  Terry Fox Run.

 


 

Terry Fox Run - HudsonHomeTeam


 

To participate or support/donate, please contact us:

 

info@hudsonhometeam.com

604-773-3940

 

 

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WHERE: Sandpiper Pub, White Rock
WHEN: September 11 5 – 8
WHAT: Live music, door prizes, toonie toss, raffle and 50/50
HOW MUCH: $20 / ticket ( $10 directly to Semi Rugby) – You get a
Burger, Fries and a Beverage (Beer or Pop)
Kids Welcome – Bring the whole family


Semiahmoo Totems - HudsonHomeTeam

 


 

Contact us for tickets:

 

 info@HudsonHomeTeam.com

604-773-3940

 

 

 

 

 

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Well, there’s another month flying by!

 

The weather isn’t looking spectacular for today’s events (and there are a great number of Neighbourhood Events happening)!

 

See the map for individual and Group events.

 

By the way, Ray Shepherd elementary is having their annual May Fair event to raise funds for the school.

 

 

 

Click on the Ray Shepherd logo below to get more info on the school event.


 

Ray Shepherd

 

 


 

 

 

Enjoy the bargains!

 

 

Click on our new logo to get to the map.

 

 



 

 

 

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Good Morning!

 

Here is this long weekend’s garage sale map. As is usually the case with long weekends, there aren’t as many sales as usual.

 

That means you should be able to find some great bargains at the ones happening!

 

 

Look next week for a huge Ocean Park Neighbourhood event, over 35 homes involved!

 

Stay safe this weekend.

 

 

Click the Queen for today’s map.


 

 

 

 


 

 

 


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WOW!
This has go to be one of the busiest weekends in a long long time!

 

Not only our own coordinated event in the South Meridian neighbourhood, but one in Summerfield as well, the annual Hall’s Prairie Country Fair (which includes a garage sale) a “Kids’ stuff” swap meet and numerous other events going on!

 

 

Don’t forget to stay hydrated today! And sunscreen, wear your sunscreen!

 


 



Please feel comfortable suggesting HudsonHomeTeam in your Real Estate conversations.

 

 

Here’s the link to todays (3 pages) maps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This Saturday we have coordinated a Neighbourhood Garage Sale Event for the McNally Creek area, also known as South Meridian in South Surrey. 

 

 

The event starts at 9am and will run until 2pm or at the discretion of the individual hosts.

 

 

More information can be found on our LocalGarageSales.ca website.

 

 

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Wow! May already!

 

We have some Neighbourhood events coming up in the coming weeks, including an event in the McNally Creek/South Meridian Neighbourhood.


Today we would like to highlight the annual Semiahmoo Secondary School Dry Grad Garage Sale at the school(it’s on the map).

 

Click on the SemiDryGrad image to go to today’s map. And remember, we need you to send your friends and family our way when the topic of Real Estate comes up!

 


 


 

 

 


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Oh yes! It’s getting busy.

 

There are two neighbourhood events hosted by some of our Real Estate colleagues.

 

 

Be sure to print both pages.

 

Upcoming:

Neighbourhood Garage Sales in McNally Creek (South Meridian) and up the 152nd corridor above 32 Diversion.

 

Please keep in mind that WE SELL REAL ESTATE!  We would appreciate the opportunity to present you or your contacts with our outstanding marketing package.

 


 


Feel comfortable referring to us, when the topic of Real Estate comes up.

 

Click on the image below to go to the maps.

 

 

 

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Renting out property to get easier as CMHC changes rules

by Steve Randall28 Jul 2015

The rules around the income from rental units considered in home loan applications submitted to the CMHC are changing.
The agency announced Monday that, from September 28, it will allow 100 per cent of the rental income from a unit to be considered for new loan applications submitted to it for mortgage insurance.

 

That means that a secondary rentals suite’s income, minus costs including property taxes, will boost the size of the loan that buyers can secure.
Qualifying units must have sustainable income, proven by two years of rental rent payments. These payments will be averaged to assess the unit’s income. Applicants will also need a credit rating of at least 680.
Properties with more than a single rental unit will have slightly different rules and this change is most positive for homeowners with one rental unit. 

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Vancouver, BC, Canada / News Talk 980 CKNW | Vancouver's News. Vancouver's Talk
Matt Lee

It appears the province has no plans to slow down the growth happening in some Surrey neighbourhoods.

It comes even after school trustees passed a unanimous motion on Thursday calling for a halt in development.


Province not biting on Surrey school trustees' bid for moratorium on development

 


The motion tabled by Laurae McNally suggested provincial funding for new schools isn’t keeping up with the pace of population growth in the fastest growing city in the province.

That’s why they called on the city to halt the development happening in the Clayton, Grandview/South Surrey, and Newton areas.

But education minister Mike Bernier is singing a different tune.

In a statement to CKNW, Bernier says he understands the challenges facing the school district, but hints at major projects already being underway with more slated to come.

He says as the city moves forward, Surrey and other districts experiencing similar growth will be a priority for future capital investments.


 


 


I understand the challenges Surrey has and I’ve discussed them with the board when we met a few months ago.
My Ministry is working closely with the Surrey district to find ways to deal with the intense pressures from growth.
As we move forward,  Surrey and other districts experiencing growth will be a priority for future capital investments.
There are several major projects underway and more slated to come –  the new Clayton North Secondary and additions to three elementary schools are under way – projects worth $64.6 million.
These projects will create 1,870 spaces for Surrey.
Since 2001, we’ve invested more than $337 million for 55 capital and seismic projects, and 12 site acquisitions in Surrey.
Last year we completed Goldstone Park and Katzie elementary schools, and additions to Fraser Heights and Panorama Ridge Secondary. These projects, worth a total of $44.2 million, created 1,160 spaces for elementary and 500 secondary spaces in Surrey.


Earlier in the school year we had the opportunity to experience one of the Semiahmoo Music Society's various concerts. While we had heard great things about the school music program, we were blown away...

 

 

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Renee Bernard
Posted Apr 22, 2016 9:44 pm PDT

 

SURREY (NEWS 1130) – The Surrey Board of Education is making an unusual move in dealing with overcrowded schools.

Trustees are asking the city to temporarily halt new development in three neighbourhoods.

“At the moment we are in a crisis. This is the worst I have ever seen it on the board,” says Laurae McNally, a 30-year veteran of the board, who spearheaded the motion directed at the city.

The board wants the city to “temporarily suspend all new development approvals in the Clayton, Grandview/South Surrey and South Newton regions until the Surrey School District receives adequate provincial capital funding to support the many new students in these regions.”



“We have 275 classroom portables, which we have to pay for out our operating budget. We have four high schools on extended days,” McNally explains.

Plus, a couple of schools need to run five kindergarten classes to meet demand.

“The $4 million a year that the portables cost us is the equivalent of 50 teachers that we could put in our system.”

She says teachers, students and parents have been very patient but they are getting very tired of the situation.

“Everybody wants to see a light at the end of the tunnel.

 


 

Earlier in the school year we had the opportunity to experience one of the Semiahmoo Music Society's various concerts. While we had heard great things about the school music program, we were blown away...

 

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