NEARLY 1,000 students in Surrey’s Grandview Heights area will enjoy brand-new classrooms in the near future, Premier John Horgan announced on Thursday.
The Province will fund a new, $24-million elementary school in Grandview Heights, along with a 300-seat, $9-million addition at Pacific Heights Elementary school.
“Kids deserve a positive, healthy learning environment so they can have the opportunity to thrive in their education and succeed in life,” Horgan said. “We’re investing in our kids and working hard to build the schools and additional spaces that are desperately needed in growing communities around the province.”
Construction is expected to begin at Pacific Heights in May 2018, and the new classrooms will be ready for students in September 2019. The new Grandview Heights elementary school is scheduled to open in the 2020-21 school year.
“My top priority is to focus on improving student outcomes in British Columbia, and learning environments are key to that,” said Minister of Education Rob Fleming. “Getting kids out of portables remains my mission, and these new student spaces are doing just that.”
This investment benefits families by giving children a chance to learn in a healthy, modern setting.
Enrolment forecasts for the Grandview Heights-area schools show a shortfall of more than 2,200 elementary seats in the next 10 years. The government says it is committed to getting students out of portables and into classrooms as quickly as possible.
“When our Premier committed to eliminate all portables in Surrey within four years, we were excited to see how that might unfold,” said Surrey Board of Education Chair Shawn Wilson. “Our board is thrilled to see our number 1 capital project – a new Grandview-South Surrey area elementary school – become a reality.
“I thank Pacific Heights Elementary students, staff and parents for their patience and expect they will be excited and relieved to know additional classrooms are coming and that the district can get on with construction. We are hopeful that this is only the first step in a detailed and aggressive capital plan from the ministry.”
The new Grandview Heights elementary school, and the addition to Pacific Heights, will help to ease current and future enrolment pressures on nearby elementary schools, including Sunnyside, Rosemary Heights and Morgan.
To further reduce the use of portables in Surrey, the Province and the Surrey School District have established a project office to manage the city’s large volume of capital projects.
Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner, on behalf of the City of Surrey and members of Council, welcomes the announcement.
She said: “With the demands that have been placed on our school system, these projects will help address the overcrowded classrooms and the proliferation of portables in Surrey. With the tremendous growth that Surrey has been experiencing, the infrastructure of our school system has been sorely left behind. I want to commend Premier Horgan and Minister of Education, Rob Fleming, for not only recognizing the need in Surrey but acting on addressing the issues of portables and overcrowding that have plagued Surrey schools for far too long.
“With this first step along with the Premier’s commitment to eliminate portables in Surrey within four years, I look forward to working with the Provincial Government in helping them reach that goal. City Council is eager to help the Province and the School District in prioritizing and expediting projects that will invest in Surrey’s schools and our students.”
- The new Grandview Heights elementary school will be built at 16650 – 23rd Avenue with a capacity for 655 students.
- The addition to Pacific Heights Elementary school will add 12 classrooms to that school.
- Both projects will be fully funded by the Government of British Columbia.
- These projects are in addition to the thousands of new seats currently being created for students in Surrey schools.
- Work continues on the new 1,500-seat Salish Secondary, a new 1,500-seat Grandview Heights secondary, one new 605-seat Clayton-area elementary and one new 655-seat Clayton-area elementary.
- Additions to Sullivan Heights, Panorama Park and Woodward Hill elementary schools also have been announced and will create up to a combined 600 new student seats.