Letters to the Editor

New schools should go modular

Letter writers offer differing viewpoints on construction of new schools in Surrey. - Leader file photo
Letter writers offer differing viewpoints on construction of new schools in Surrey.
— image credit: Leader file photo

“Use old plans to build new schools,” Letters, The Leader, Jan. 29.

Letter writer Don Campbell makes a good point about using paid-for architectural plans for building new schools. I would suggest we go one step further.

A colleague of mine is involved in construction in another district, and tells me that the waste in building schools is endemic. He calls them “Monuments to Ego.”  Many little bits of “gingerbread” are added to schools that serve no function other than to spend money and look good to someone in the system.

I would suggest another route. There are many companies around that build modular buildings. These are not portables; once put together, they look like any other building. They can be constructed inexpensively, can often be expanded easily, and while not always as pretty as an architecturally designed building, are very functional. At present, it seems to me that we need these qualities.

Build modules, and bolt them together. Let’s get our children in schools that function, and let’s do this before the current Grade 1 students graduate high school.

 

Marq C. Smith

New plans for new schools

This is to the letter writer who discourages the hiring of architects to craft new school building plans.

Those who have been to many of Surrey’s 19 secondary schools have likely noticed the design similarity at the five newest ones: Kwantlen Park, Fraser Heights, Panorama Ridge, Clayton Heights, and Sullivan Heights.

If you have been around these schools, you will notice that all of these school buildings have to be complemented by a plethora of portable classrooms.

These school buildings simply weren’t designed to handle the student loads they are facing today; they are far too small, and their designs have not worked well for existing structures.

I know many students who go to Fraser Heights Secondary. They have to deal with an overcrowded school building and as much as 17 portables – the highest number in Surrey. The school building is now undergoing a costly expansion, and these students have to deal with that too.

I welcome new architects, and I’m looking forward to the bigger and better schools that will be ready for Surrey’s growing and large young population.

I’m looking forward to the monetary savings for taxpayers in 10 years, knowing that the city’s newest schools were built with the demands of 10-20 years down the road in mind and won’t need upgrades like Fraser Heights Secondary is requiring now or to be supplemented by more new schools.

 

Daryl Dela Cruz

Surrey

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