Overcrowding in Surrey schools have gotten so bad that one high school is resorting to moving P.E. classes into the hallways.
That's the story at Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary in Cloverdale, where gym space is so over capacity that plans are being drawn up to use hallway curling and ping-pong tables to substitute for gym time.
"That was shocking to hear," said Linda Stromberg, a member of the school's Parent Advisory Council. "'You've got to be kidding,' that was my initial reaction."
According to Stromberg, Lord Tweedsmuir's schedule has five blocks of classes throughout the day, and in the first block alone there are nine P.E. classes.
"We have indoor facilities to accommodate three classes, three gymnasiums," said Stromberg.
However, even if two classes used one gym at the same time, there still would be others with no place to play, said Stromberg.
"They may share or have more than one class in the gym at one time but you want to have the curriculum deliver to all kids equally, so you can't have 60 kids playing a basketball game otherwise they won't get a chance to actually get on the court."
There are 1,900 students enrolled at Lord Tweedsmuir, a far cry from the 1,450 the school was initially built for. On top of the hallway gym classes, the overcrowding has also led to the school becoming one of four in the district that run extended class schedules.
Other schools with extended schedules in Surrey are Earl Marriot Secondary, Sullivan Heights Secondary and North Surrey Secondary. Stromberg added that it's looking like three more schools will join that list next year.
It's something that Surrey-Green Timbers MLA Sue Hammell said was indicative of a lack in foresight by the provincial government.
"The heart of the problem is that there's been very little capital money come to Surrey in the last 10 years," said Hammell. "For us to get to a place where P.E. is being done in corridors is really unacceptable."
While the revelation came as a shock to Stromberg, Laurae McNally, chair of the Surrey Board of Education said she wasn't surprised when she heard.
"We've all known that Surrey has needed more capital money for a number of years," she said. "We're growing faster than the money is coming into Surrey and that school, as are many others, is trying to manage their space the very best they can in trying times. It's up to the provincial government to respond to the needs here."
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