A new elementary school, two additions to existing schools and the land needed to build another school will help ease overcrowding and improve classroom conditions for students in Surrey, Premier John Horgan announced on Monday.
“Surrey students and their families have been waiting too long for new classrooms for their growing school district. The wait is over. We’re getting it done,” said Horgan. “We are delivering the safe and comfortable schools kids in Surrey deserve.”
The Ministry of Education is investing almost $64 million to:
* build a new elementary school in the Douglas area of South Surrey;
* expand Frost Road Elementary and Coyote Creek Elementary schools in Fleetwood; and
* buy land for a future elementary school in Grandview Heights.
“We have been working hard to accelerate the approval of capital and seismic projects throughout B.C.,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Education. “These three projects and the land purchase will relieve pressure on the surrounding schools in Surrey, reduce the number of students learning in portables, and make life better for students, educators and parents.”
The new $24.3-million, two-storey elementary school will be built beside Dufferin Park, and will accommodate 605 students. It will have a Neighbourhood Learning Centre (NLC) with two child-care rooms, as well as project, media and technology spaces and outdoor washrooms. This school will help relieve enrolment pressure at nearby Hall’s Prairie Elementary, Pacific Heights Elementary and South Meridian Elementary. Construction is expected to start in March 2019 and be completed by December 2020.
“Our board has been pushing hard and working closely with Minister Fleming to obtain funding for new school spaces for our students, so it is wonderful to see the government making these investments,” says Surrey Board of Education Chair Laurie Larsen. “I know our trustees join our students, staff and parents throughout the Surrey School District in welcoming the announcement, and we all look forward to the next one.”
The $5.6-million addition at Frost Road Elementary school will create six classrooms, with space for 150 more students. Four portables currently at the school will be removed at the end of construction.
Coyote Creek Elementary school’s $4.9-million expansion will add four classrooms, creating 100 new spaces for students. Two portables will be removed once the project is complete. Construction at both Coyote Creek and Frost Road is expected to begin in April 2019, with completion anticipated in June 2020.
These three projects, combined, add up to 855 new K-7 spaces in Surrey.
The Province is also investing $28.9 million to purchase land for a future elementary school, at the southeast corner of 20th Avenue and 165th Street. The school will be needed to accommodate the growing number of students in the South West Grandview Heights area, and will relieve pressure at the existing Sunnyside Elementary. The Surrey School District is contributing $1.4 million toward the site purchase.
Including Monday’s announcement, the government has invested $107 million for two new elementary schools, three additions, two seismic upgrades and a site acquisition since September 2017. These include a new $24-million, 655-seat elementary school in Grandview Heights, and a $9-million, 300-seat expansion at Pacific Heights Elementary school.
* Budget 2018 invests a record $2 billion in school capital projects over the next three years.
* As of September 2017, the Surrey School District has 70,736 students in K-12, the highest student enrolment in British Columbia.