Grandview Heights Secondary delayed

Grandview Heights Secondary delayed

School will not open for the beginning of the 2020-21 school year

Construction of South Surrey’s long-planned Grandview Heights Secondary has been delayed, but officials are holding out hope that it will open sometime during the 2020-21 school year.

Surrey School District communications manager Doug Strachan confirmed to Peace Arch News Wednesday that the district will not meet its goal of opening the school (16988 25 Ave.) for the beginning of the 2020 school year.

The initial announced completion date of the school was by the end of 2020, but that has since been delayed because the project could not be built within the $60.6 million budget.

The original tender for the project closed in July, delaying the project by at least four months. The bids on that tender came in more than what the district was expecting, something Strachan marked up as the “result of changing market conditions.”

The district revised the budget and it’s now in the hands of the Ministry of Education.

“The ministry needs to go to the treasury board and if there’s no changes requested or adjustments made, then we would go to the next process of revising a tender,” Strachan said.

Once a new tender is released, companies will be given two to three weeks to make bids, “then you have to evaluate the tenders and sign contracts and go from there.”

Although the school won’t be ready for the beginning of the 2020-21 school year, Strachan said there’s a possibility that the school could open to students halfway through the year, but it would be a challenge.

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“It will depend on the timing. We have opened schools, for instance, over the spring break.”

Strachan made note of Ecole Salish Secondary (7278 184 St.), which was completed last spring but wasn’t opened to students until the start of this school year.

“There was supplies and furnishings to be installed, so it didn’t make sense to try and open it before the end of the school year. That will be one of the things considered, too, is it practical to move everybody during the school year?” he said.

“Again, there’s a number of things to play out and we won’t know until we get there.”

Strachan said representatives from the district met with the the minister last week to discuss expediting the project.

“Certainly the minister has indicated that he’s going to push wherever he can to get this going as quick as possible.”

In 2013, the school district put up $5 million of its own money to get the ball rolling on a new South Surrey high school, as well as one other in Clayton and two school expansions – in anticipation that the provincial government would pay the cash back.