This time next week, this walkway outside Walnut Grove Secondary will be teeming with students. The school’s population will be at its highest ever this year, due in part to the number of families relocating to north Langley from Burnaby and Coquitlam.

School space ‘at all-time premium’

Walnut Grove area schools’ enrolment ‘maxed out’ for September, says district's acting superintendent

Langley’s hot real estate market has had an unexpected impact on enrolment at schools in Walnut Grove this year, says acting superintendent of schools, Gord Stewart.

“People have sold their homes in Burnaby and Coquitlam and have chosen to move into the Walnut Grove area, as our high school and all our elementary schools are maxed out this year,” said Stewart.

“Space at Walnut Grove schools is at an all-time premium.”

Walnut Grove Secondary is Langley’s most populated school, with more than 1,800 students, and more arrivals anticipated this year, due to the hot real estate market.

So far, the district has managed to make the increased enrolment work, but it will be more difficult in the fall when new families come to the district after the start of the school year.

“It’s going to be a challenge. We don’t want to have to say to those people that come later in the school year that they can’t go to the school they can walk to from their home, but it may be they will have to bus to another school.”

The focus has mainly been on high-density Willoughby, where single-family, town homes and condos are selling out before they are even built.

The current influx of families — and those expected to come in the next few years  — has forced the district to make catchment changes to the area. These will take effect in the 2017-2018 year, mainly related to Richard Bulpitt Elementary and Yorkson Creek Middle School — both of which are having to add portables to keep up with demand.

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