Building boom in Surrey fuelling B.C.'s fastest growing city

Surrey has been the fastest growing city in B.C. for some time and new numbers show that the city is booming again.

Surrey on track towards record development year in 2016, figures suggest

Residential construction is nearing an all time high in Surrey. (CBC)

Surrey has been the fastest growing city in B.C. for some time, and new numbers show that it's booming again.

In 2015, the value of residential construction — condos, townhouses, houses and high-rises — reached $1.46 billion, almost matching the highest total of $1.49 billion from 2007, right before the global economic crisis hit. 

Framer Gary Singh lives the boom every day, with no shortage of work opportunities thanks to the wave of construction projects that have hit Surrey.

"It's been really busy. Like, crazy busy," Singh told CBC News. "You don't even get any time to do anything else."

All the new development also drives a need for new amenities — things like schools, libraries and recreation facilities.

Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner admits it's a challenge to keep up.

"Well, we knew the growth was going to happen and infrastructure is always a struggle, but we have a plan in place." Hepner said.

Overcrowding in some Surrey schools has been an issue for years and the Surrey School District and city continue to lobby the province for more money.

"We're pretty packed," said Surrey School District spokesman Doug Strachan. "We're well over capacity at the two secondary schools in this area, and we have been for some time."

A new $55-million secondary school with a capacity for 1,500 students from Grade 8 to 12 is slated to to be completed in the Clayton North area in 2017.

Surrey's population is expected to surpass Vancouver's within the next decade.

With files from Jesse Johnston

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