Surrey’s newest school: Edgewood Elementary

EDGEWOOD Elementary is open, making it the first new school of 2021 in the Surrey School District.

Just two months after Douglas Elementary opened its doors, Edgewood Elementary is now ready for students in South Surrey, drawing from the Pacific Heights Elementary and Sunnyside Elementary catchment areas. The Ministry of Education provided more than $27 million in funding for the school in the rapidly growing Grandview Heights neighbourhood.

“Opening a new school is an amazing way to kick off the new year, and we are thrilled to ring in 2021 with Edgewood Elementary,” said Surrey Board of Education Chair Laurie Larsen. “Just as these students are excited to move to Edgewood, so are we to open another great school in Surrey.”

Edgewood Elementary, located near 23rd Avenue and 166th Street, features 27 classrooms, collaboration spaces, a large gymnasium, a library, a learning commons, maker lab and a multipurpose room, as well as a number of outdoor amenities for students.

“It’s an astounding building – you notice the architecture as soon as you walk into the front entrance,” said Principal Shaun Nelson. “The design is very open, very expansive, there was an incredible amount of thought into traffic flows coming into the school.

“We have some really neat features for kids at recess and lunch to hang out and talk, to play on our fields, basketball courts, a new playground. And beside us, we have Edgewood Park and we can do a quick walk over there without crossing a street.”

The school is opening with about 363 students, including those attending the blended learning program. With students coming from Pacific Heights Elementary, Sunnyside Elementary and some returning to in-person instruction from blended, Nelson said the district worked with Fraser Health to safely reorganize students in their cohorts.

“We’re trying to minimize the impact on not only the change for students but also that movement of students into different cohorts,” he said, noting the school’s design allows for numerous ways to follow distancing protocols, such as exterior classroom entrances, wide sidewalks and sinks near the door for handwashing.

Only half of the classrooms are expected to be occupied upon opening, as the school was built for 655 students in anticipation of ongoing development and growth in the area. Nelson said this puts Edgewood in a unique position, compared to schools experiencing growing pains.

“We get a chance to not only have lots of extra space in the school, but we get to grow into the school as our community continues to build around us,” he said. “Just that whole idea of bringing everyone together under one brand new roof, people are beyond excited to start 2021 on a different foot and build that legacy and that culture.”