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Surrey schools will get boost in classroom space

June 25, 2024 at 2:14 pm  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

Families in Surrey will have 875 more student spaces in their community as part of the government’s plan to expand schools faster.

“We are taking urgent action in Surrey and finding innovative solutions to make sure schools get the classrooms they need faster,” said Rachna Singh, Minister of Education and Child Care. “These new additions are part of our government’s ongoing efforts and will bring much-needed spaces to three more Surrey schools as we continue to make important investments in Surrey.”

Three new prefabricated additions include 17 classrooms at Old Yale Road Elementary, six classrooms at Latimer Road Elementary and 12 at William Watson Elementary. The use of prefabricated materials means students will get modern learning environments, which include multiple classrooms and corridors, that are built quickly. The new classrooms are expected to be ready in fall 2025. With sustainable and energy-efficient designs, the additions also align with the Province’s CleanBC targets and meet B.C.’s enhanced energy requirements. 

“Our population is growing and Surrey is welcoming students at a much higher rate than ever before,” said Bruce Ralston, MLA for Surrey-Whalley. “Our government has made historical investments in creating spaces for students in Surrey. The expansion of Old Yale Road Elementary is a significant addition that will go a long way in ensuring that students have the space they need to learn and grow.”

The provincial investment of $52.5 million is in addition to the government’s significant investments for new and expanded schools in Surrey, with more than $800 million to create more than 13,500 new student seats in the past six years. Construction is underway for the new Snokomish Elementary and Ta’talu Elementary, and additions to Semiahmoo Trail Elementary and South Meridian Elementary.

“Prefabricated additions are one solution our government is making to help quickly bring much-needed student spaces to our community,” said Mike Starchuk, MLA for Surrey-Cloverdale. “The addition to William Watson will benefit students for decades to come.”

More prefabricated classrooms were announced in May 2024 for Walnut Road Elementary and a new addition for Martha Currie Elementary, adding another 250 student seats. Prefabricated additions announced in 2023 are also underway for Lena Shaw Elementary, Woodland Park Elementary and Walnut Road Elementary. They are expected to open in fall 2024 and add 875 student seats.

“This announcement is an important step in the right direction and welcome news for many families in Surrey who are experiencing capacity challenges in their neighbourhood schools,” said Laurie Larsen, chair, Surrey Board of Education. “The additional classroom space is vital in allowing us to welcome and educate the hundreds of new students and families moving to our district every year, and continue to provide comfortable and inviting environments for all of our students and staff to learn, work and grow.”

Since September 2017, the B.C. government has provided more than $4 billion for new and improved schools, and land purchases for schools in the province. This has resulted in more than 25,000 new student spaces and more than 35,000 seismically safe seats at B.C. schools.

Budget 2024 includes $3.75 billion for school capital projects over the next three years, including new and expanded schools, seismic upgrades and replacements, and land purchases for schools.

Quick Facts:

  • Old Yale Road Elementary will gain 17 new classrooms, which will create 425 student spaces.
  • Latimer Road Elementary will gain six new classrooms, which will create 150 student spaces.
  • William Watson Elementary will gain 12 new classrooms, which will create 300 student spaces.

Learn More:

To learn more about the Surrey School District, visit: https://www.surreyschools.ca/

For more information about major public school capital projects underway, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/k-12/administration/capital/major-capital-projects 

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