Letters

What about North Surrey schools?

Two new high schools to address overcrowding have been proposed in Clayton Heights and Grandview Heights, Surrey’s newest greenfield development areas.

These new schools, after all land acquisition and construction costs, will cost the city and the province more than $100 million.

Putting $100 million into Clayton Heights and Grandview Heights and $0 into North Surrey is unacceptable.

Schools in North Surrey face overcrowding problems too; in particular, students at North Surrey Secondary School (NSSS) face a very irregular five-block schedule. Grade 11 and 12 students attend for all five blocks, are forced to wake up as early as 6:30 a.m. just to arrive by 7:30 a.m., and are not out of school until 3:30 p.m.

This bell schedule manipulates natural young adult tendencies that discourage waking up early. For others, it manipulates regular meal schedules. Grade 8 and 9 students who attend for the latter four blocks have just one class between their breakfast and their lunch break.

This is happening because NSSS faces no other choice, and because addressing existing problems is apparently less of a priority for Mayor Dianne Watts and council.

I recently heard that the Newton Town Centre revitalization plan may remain delayed for at least another decade. Meanwhile, greenfield growth will be adding to problems being faced by Newton residents, especially students.

Surrey can’t keep prioritizing greenfield over infill and building greenfield before infrastructure; it is simply unsustainable for everyone.

Infrastructure spending needs to increase; there should be no pride in having the lowest tax rates in Metro Vancouver if the resulting spending limits and infrastructure shortages are turning into problems for everyone in the city.

Decisions like these are making our students suffer and have to change.

 

Daryl Dela Cruz, Surrey

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