Explainer: City of Surrey invests $428 million to improve infrastructure and community buildings
The city plans to improve parks, construct housing, and build recreation and community centres
The City of Surrey councillors have approved a fund of $428 million for the creation of new capital infrastructure projects around the city. In a report released earlier this month, the city published plans to allocate the money to 28 new projects.
The projects include improving recreational centres, parks, housing, public facilities, and spaces for sports.
The Newton Community Centre is one of the 28 new projects. The centre will receive $100 million, the highest amount of money from the $428 million budget. This will go towards building the centre as well as a new Olympic size pool.
The community centre is expected to be completed by 2024 and it will offer residents swimming access as well as a hot tub and multi-purpose space.
Newton is one of the six communities in Surrey along with Cloverdale, Guildford, Fleetwood, Whalley, and South Surrey. Last year, the population in the Newton area was estimated to be 154,480, making it the community centre with the highest population. The second highest is Whalley with 124,540 people. This community centre is expected to support the growing population of Newton and its recreational needs.
For North Surrey, the city has allocated $5.5 million for a turf field, walking loop, and changeroom, $3.7 million for an outdoor sports facility, and $500,000 for an Indigenous carving centre.
Cloverdale will receive $55.1 million for a sports and ice complex. South Surrey will receive $6 million to replace an athletic park track and build a synthetic field. Surrey is allocating $27.5 million to create an athletic centre at Bear Creek. City Centre will get $40 million for a sports complex.
Surrey’s investments in new recreational and sporting spaces are expected to be completed between 2022 to 2024.
To meet the housing needs in the city, there will be two new support housing projects, which is a part of the CMHC Rapid Housing Initiative being implemented by the Canadian government to provide housing to people who are vulnerable.
In 2020, the Canadian government invested $1 billion in this initiative and the plan is to create about 3,000 new houses, either by building brand new homes or renovating buildings to create new homes.
Surrey will create two CMHC housing projects. One for women who are experiencing homelessness and a second one for youths between the ages of 17 to 24, who are experiencing homelessness or on the verge of it.
The first one is a modular housing building called Little’s Place, that will receive $16.4 million from the city and have 44 studio apartments. The second one is a youth housing initiative which will receive $13.8 million and have 30 apartment units. Both of these projects are expected to be completed by May.
In Surrey’s efforts to build a sustainable city and meet the goals set in their Sustainability Charter 2.0, the city is ensuring things like the infrastructure created in the 28 projects are energy and resource-efficient, and have adaptable and long-lasting infrastructure.
In a press release, Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum said these projects will benefit the city now and in the future. The projects are also expected to bring the community together through the additions of recreational centres and sporting facilities.