More classrooms and a new school site for Surrey students

SOUTH Surrey students can look forward to more classrooms in an expanded Sunnyside Elementary and a new school site in the Darts Hill neighbourhood, the province announced on Thursday.

“After years of underinvestment in Surrey’s schools, we’re taking action to add new seats for students so they can get out of portables and be better connected to their peers,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Education. “As Surrey continues to grow, we’ll keep building new and expanded schools wherever they’re needed, so every student has the best chance to succeed.”

The Government of British Columbia is investing a combined $25.4 million in a 10-classroom, 250-seat addition at Sunnyside Elementary and in purchasing a school site in the Darts Hill neighbourhood. The Surrey School District is contributing an additional $5 million for the Darts Hill site.

“Our student population has been steadily increasing every year, with rapid growth in South Surrey,” said Laurie Larsen, Chair of the Surrey Board of Education. “An addition at Sunnyside Elementary and a new school site in the Darts Hill area will help our district respond to this growth and move students out of portables and back into schools.”

This new funding is needed to help address the number of portables in the district, where only one new school has opened since 2014.

Since September 2017, the Province has approved over $301 million for school capital projects in Surrey, which is helping over 7,600 new student seats open in the district between 2018 and 2022, eliminating the equivalent of nearly 305 portables.

There are many more new projects to come in Surrey, with four school sites now purchased and eight expansion projects supported for business case development.

The Sunnyside Elementary expansion is scheduled to be complete in September 2022.

There are currently 12 portables in use at the school. This expansion, along with a new addition at Pacific Heights opening in April 2020 and a new Edgewood Drive Elementary school opening in September 2021, will eliminate the need for 11 of those portables.

To continue improving schools for students in Surrey and throughout B.C., Budget 2020 includes a record $2.8 billion for school capital projects, including new and expanded schools, seismic upgrades and land purchases for future schools.