The Surrey Schools Coalition was present at today’s Surrey education announcement by the BC Government. As a unique and innovative coalition of business, parents, homebuilders and developers, the Surrey Schools Coalition heard new school project announcements by the BC Government.
Nearly 1,000 students in Surrey’s Grandview Heights area will enjoy brand-new classrooms in the near future. The Province will fund a new, $24-million elementary school in Grandview Heights, along with a 300-seat, $9-million addition at Pacific Heights Elementary School.
“This is a step in the right direction,” said Anita Huberman, CEO, Surrey Board of Trade. “We are hopeful for a more holistic announcement on fully-funded projects in high growth areas in BC.”
Surrey is the highest growth catchment in BC where this year alone the Surrey School Board saw an increase of over 1,200 students than projected, leading to the district being 128% over capacity in high growth areas with 317 portables.
The Surrey Schools Coalition still wants to hear some good news on their immediate ask of $217 million to the Surrey School Board (as announced by the previous BC government) and reiterated by the current government’s September budget update.
“We were pleased to hear the integration and implementation of an active Surrey Project office.”
In addition the Coalition wants a special ‘growth fund’ of $4.2 Million to pay for portables. The BC Government is being asked to fully commit and fund $250M to $350M of capital projects in the next 3 years and fund new schools without district contribution. Education, both quality curriculum and quality surroundings, are needed for our students to be leaders locally and globally through career and entrepreneur pathways.
“Also the long-term ask is a new funding formula for high-growth areas to ensure that other cities do not face this situation in the future,” said Huberman. “In addition, the Coalition was pleased to hear Minister Bains articulate the need for an eventual removal of all portables in Surrey. How long that will take remains unclear.”
Surrey has the largest school district in BC. Classrooms have been growing as a result of Surrey’s rapidly growing population and demographics of young families.
The Surrey School Coalition’s premise is that the construction of new schools in high growth areas benefit students in Surrey, contributes to healthy communities, and enables economic growth through development.
Quick Facts about today’s announcement:
- The new Grandview Heights elementary school will be built at 16650 – 23rd Ave. with a capacity for 655 students.
- The addition to Pacific Heights Elementary School will add 12 classrooms to that school.
- Both projects will be fully funded by the Government of British Columbia.
- These projects are in addition to the thousands of new seats currently being created for students in Surrey schools.
- Work continues on the new 1,500-seat Salish Secondary, a new 1,500-seat Grandview Heights secondary, one new 605-seat Clayton-area elementary and one new 655-seat Clayton-area elementary.
- Additions to Sullivan Heights, Panorama Park and Woodward Hill elementary schools also have been announced and will create up to a combined 600 new student seats.