As the City of Surrey continues to grow, Premier Christy Clark has announced funding for up to 2,700 new student spaces for Surrey schools to provide students with new classrooms and help tackle the rapidly growing need for schools in the fastest growing community in B.C.
The announcement includes nearly $100 million to fund six priority projects in Surrey:
- Up to 600 new student seats with rapid expansion projects at Sullivan, Woodward Hill and Panorama Park elementary schools to start this summer and be ready for students when classes start in fall 2017;
- 1,500 seat Grandview Heights Secondary expected to start in 2017 and be complete by the end of 2020;
- 605 seat Clayton North Elementary expected to start in 2017 and be complete by the end of 2019; and,
- The purchase of land for a future new elementary school in Port Kells.
“Families are making a choice to call Surrey home – and that’s driving incredible growth along with our strong economy,” Premier Clark said. “We’ve worked together with the Surrey school district to identify key projects and move them ahead quickly to make sure as many classrooms as possible are built for Surrey families and students.”
The total budget for the six school projects is $99.5 million. The province will contribute $74.2 million and the Surrey school district will contribute $25.3 million towards the new schools and classroom additions.
“It’s great to see that the school overcapacity concerns voiced by our board and so many others in our community have been heard by the Premier and Minister of Education with this significant announcement, and I thank them,” said Shawn Wilson, Surrey Board of Education chair. “I also thank the students, staff and parents for their enormous patience, and I’m happy to say our board earlier invested in hiring architects and taking initial steps for construction of the new school sites so we would be ready to launch these projects; we’re ready to go.”
Today’s announcement builds on the 1,870 seats already under construction in Surrey. This work includes the new Clayton North Secondary and additions at Adams Road, Morgan and Rosemary Heights Elementary schools.
“These new schools and thousands of new seats will make sure Surrey students have the space they need to learn and build successful and bright futures,” Education Minister Mike Bernier said. “We are proud of our strong working relationship with the Surrey school district and will continue to work together to help them meet the needs of their growing community.”
“I welcome the funding announcement made today by the provincial government,” said Surrey mayor Linda Hepner. “Creating 2,700 new spaces through the construction of two brand new schools and the addition of new classroom space into existing schools will help ease the strain we are seeing in the Surrey School District.”
Government is able to make school infrastructure investments like these thanks to the Province’s fiscal discipline and strong economy.
- Since 2001, school district 36 student population has seen an 18% increase in student enrolment, from 58,648 students to an estimated 69,446 in 2015-16.
- Since 2001, government has invested more than $337 million for 55 capital and seismic projects, and 12 site acquisitions in Surrey.
- In 2014, government completed Goldstone Park and Katzie Elementary schools, and additions to Fraser Heights and Panorama Ridge Secondary. These projects totalled $44.2 million and created 1,160 spaces for elementary and 500 secondary spaces in Surrey.
- The Grandview Heights Secondary and Clayton North Elementary projects will be done under B.C.’s Apprentices on Public Projects Policy that will require apprentices work on the project so more young people are connected with skills training and apprenticeship opportunities.
Surrey school district: www.surreyschools.ca
BC’s New Curriculum: https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca/
Apprentices on Public Projects: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/construction-industry/apprentices