Surrey school district’s main office. (File photo)

Names chosen for three new Surrey schools

Trustees approve names for new schools, but several Surrey projects still awaiting provincial funding

The Surrey Board of Education has selected names for three new Surrey schools.

The names were approved during a board meeting last Wednesday (Dec. 6).

Grandview Heights Secondary will be the name of a new high school in South Surrey, to be located at 16988 25th Ave.

A report to trustees notes that “Grandview Heights reflects the historical and common name for the neighbourhood.”

The school is still in the “working drawings” phase, according to district documents. The project is expected to go out to tender in March 2018, with an anticipated opening of September 2020.

See also: Laurie Larsen elected as new Surrey Board of Education chair

Names were also chosen for two new Clayton area schools: Burke Road Elementary (19405 76th Ave.) and Regent Road Elementary (18707 74th Ave.).

The report noted “Burke Road and Regent Road are the historical names of 76th Avenue and 74th Avenue, respectively.”

Regent Road received Ministry of Education approval on July 27, and is expected to open to students in September 2020.

Burke Road, meanwhile, is expected to open in September 2019.

See also: Surrey union decries ‘epidemic’ level shortage of education assistants in B.C.

See more: ‘Troublesome’ on-call teacher shortage in Surrey

Several other capital projects in Surrey await Ministry of Education approval, according to district documents.

Those include a 200-seat addition to Sullivan Elementary; a seismic upgrade to Mary Jane Shannon Elementary; a 700-seat addition to Sullivan Heights Secondary; a new Douglas area elementary at 17335 2nd Ave. in South Surrey; and more than 300 new seats in Fleetwood’s William Watson and Coyote Creek elementary schools.

A seismic upgrade to Bear Creek Elementary is also awaiting Ministry of Education funding approval.

The province has signed off on a 200-seat addition to Panorama Park Elementary (set to be complete in September, 2019), a 200-seat addition to Woodward Hill (expected to be finished by next September), and the new Salish Secondary is also set to open in September 2018.

Last Thursday, the provincial government announced a new $24 million elementary school in the Grandview Heights area and a $9-million addition to Pacific Heights Elementary.

See more: Elementary set for Grandview in 2020

Premier John Horgan and provincial Minister of Education Rob Fleming were scheduled to make the announcement at Pacific Heights Elementary, but were grounded in Victoria due to fog.

The Grandview school, slated for 16650 23rd Ave., is to have a capacity for 655 students. It is scheduled to open in time for the 2020-2021 school year.

The Pacific Heights Elementary expansion will see an addition of 12 classrooms, increasing capacity by 300 students. Construction is expected to begin in May 2018, and the new classrooms are to be ready for the 2019 school year.

“Both projects will be fully funded by the Government of British Columbia,” a news release from the provincial government said.

The release noted that enrolment forecasts for the Grandview Heights area shows a shortfall of more than 2,200 elementary seats in the next 10 years.

A new 600-space Clayton North Elementary is expected to open in the fall of 2019, and a new 1,500-capacity Grandview Heights Secondary in the fall of 2020.

“Kids deserve a positive, healthy learning environment so they can have the opportunity to thrive in their education and succeed in life,” Premier John Horgan said in the release. “We’re investing in our kids and working hard to build the schools and additional spaces that are desperately needed in growing communities around the province.”

The parent group Surrey Students Now (SSN), led by education advocate Cindy Dalglish, welcomed the “long over-due capital announcement” in a release.

The group says the announcement “marks a positive step forward in eliminating portables in our district” and that the schools selectes are in “one of the three primary areas that continues to see rampant development.”

“Provision of new school capital projects not only creates much needed space, but also eliminates considerable expenditures from the districts operations budget to finance portables at the expense of much needed Education Assistants, Learning Resource Teachers, classroom operating funds, and more,” the group notes.

“The funding announcement demonstrates positive movement in addressing space issues in a community experiencing hyper development and will continue to see an influx of students over the coming years. It is refreshing to see capital announcements made ahead of significantly overcrowded schools in this particular area, but we have many schools in other areas of this District that are completely overcrowded, and those communities need schools announced too.”

SSN says it is also mindful that over 1,000 students per year enter this Surrey school district.

“We will continue to advocate with the government for equitable access to capital space across the district, for current and future students,” they vowed.

-With files from Black Press



amy.reid@surreynowleader.com

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