More than 1,000 students in Surrey will soon be in safer classrooms, with seismic upgrades coming to Holly Elementary and George Greenaway Elementary schools.
“This is great news for Surrey families, who will soon have the comfort of knowing their children’s schools will be able to stand up to an earthquake for decades to come,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Education. “Our government is working hard to give every student the best learning experience possible in safe environments, and this is one of the results of that work.”
The Government of B.C. is providing up to $21.4 million for these two projects, which are expected to be complete in fall 2021. Students will remain on-site while work is completed at both schools. Some temporary classrooms will be brought in to upgrade the schools as efficiently as possible.
“It is great to see our government working to improve schools for students and families in Surrey, and throughout B.C.,” said Garry Begg, MLA for Surrey-Guildford. “As Surrey continues to grow, we’re committed to continuing to invest in our schools to ensure all of our students are learning in the best facilities possible.”
Both Holly and Greenaway have a high seismic risk rating and need to be upgraded to ensure students will be safe in a major earthquake. Work on both schools is expected to begin in summer 2020. Seismic upgrades were also recently completed at Bear Creek Elementary and an upgrade is underway at Mary Jane Shannon Elementary.
“I’m glad to see the government’s commitment and progress to make our schools seismically safe through these latest projects,” said Laurie Larsen, chair, Surrey Board of Education. “I know this kind of work is unavoidably disruptive, so I thank our staff, students and parents at Holly and George Greenaway schools for their patience in advance while this important work is underway.”
School construction in Surrey is proceeding three times faster under this government. Since September 2017, the Province has announced nearly $250 million for school capital investments, including seismic upgrades, new and expanded schools, and land purchases for future schools in Surrey.
This includes creating a total of nearly 2,100 safe student spaces. In addition, about 7,365 new student spaces will have opened in Surrey between September 2018 and September 2021, and about 2,100 more are currently under business case development.