The Port Mann Elementary School was included in the CN Railway Properties inventory of holdings that comprised their extensive Thornton Yard complex.  The school and property were deemed to be surplus and we were retained to provide project management services that included working for both CN Railway as well as the Islamic Heritage Society who were the purchasers.

The successful rezoning of the property included balancing the needs and demands of CN Railway, the Islamic Heritage Society and the City of Surrey as well as meeting the tight time schedule necessary to have the building available for the next school year.

The site was partially encumbered by a creek that had been contained in a man made flume for many years, which created numerous problems in negotiations with the Ministry of Environment, Land, Parks and Housing and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.  The school site also fronted onto the future South Fraser Perimeter Road that was being jointly studied by the City of Surrey and the Ministry of Transportation and Highways resulting in extensive negotiations for road dedication and ultimate access guarantees.

Because the school has significant historical value, although not designated as a heritage building, and had been altered during its recent use by CN as a training centre and yard security forces, it was necessary to complete extensive studies into the buildings’ physical condition.  Seismic upgrading and other critical safety issues were studied and repairs and standards were determined and included into the required rezoning approval.