STUDENTS at Surrey’s Sullivan Heights Secondary school are getting a bigger, better school, with the Province investing in a new 700-seat addition.
“Sullivan Heights Secondary’s students have put up with crowded hallways and portables for too long,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Education, on Thursday. “We are proud to be making this urgently needed investment, to relieve overcrowding and give students a safer, more comfortable environment where they can focus on learning and succeed.”
The grades 8-12 school has an enrolment of more than 1,500 students, despite only having space for 1,000 in the existing building. There are 14 portables in use, and the school uses a modified schedule to help accommodate students. This $40-million, three-storey addition will create 29 new classrooms and, once complete, the school will have enough space for 1,700 students. The portables will be removed from the site when the project is complete.
In addition to the classrooms, the expansion will include a new gymnasium for school and community use, and a bridge connection between the new building and the existing building, to provide a shared main entry and administration space. Construction on the addition is expected to begin in winter 2020, with completion expected in fall 2021.
“For years, Surrey’s schools have been unable to keep pace with the rapid growth of our community and our students have paid the price,” said Jinny Sims, MLA for Surrey-Panorama. “Our government understands the importance of investing in students, to ensure they have access to the high-quality education they deserve.”
“The 29 new classrooms will be among the largest school additions ever constructed in our district, and will relieve crowded hallways and common areas, end the extended-day school schedule, as well as the need for 14 portables, while providing a beautiful new facility, including a fully equipped gymnasium,” said Laurie Larsen, Chair of Surrey Board of Education. “I thank the minister and his government for the funding, as well as Sullivan Heights students, staff and parents for their patience.”
The Ministry of Education is contributing $35 million toward the expansion, and the Surrey School District is contributing $5 million. This is the first project under a newly negotiated cost-sharing agreement with the Surrey School District that will allow the ministry and the district to move forward on projects more quickly.
Including this announcement, government has invested over $147 million since September 2017 to address school capital needs in Surrey. This includes two new elementary schools and four additions creating over 2,500 seats, as well as two seismic upgrades and a site acquisition. Once complete, these projects will provide safer, more comfortable learning environments for Surrey students.
* As of September 2017, the Surrey School District had 70,472 students in K-12, the highest student enrolment in British Columbia.
* Budget 2018 invests a record $2 billion in school capital projects over the next three years.