Education minister Rob Fleming following an announcement for a 200-seat addition at Sullivan Elementary on April 18, 2019. (Photo: Lauren Collins)

Education minister Rob Fleming following an announcement for a 200-seat addition at Sullivan Elementary on April 18, 2019. (Photo: Lauren Collins)

Education minister announces new South Surrey elementary school

Additions at two elementary schools also announced

South Surrey is getting another elementary school.

Minister of Education Rob Fleming announced a 655-seat elementary school coming to the Sunnyside Heights area, along with a 195-seat addition for White Rock Elementary and a 190-seat addition at Morgan Elementary.

The new $44-million Sunnyside Heights area elementary school will be built at 20th Avenue and 165A Street. The Surrey school district is contributing $5 million.

READ ALSO: $25.4 million announced for classroom addition and a new school site in South Surrey, March 12, 2020

It is expected to be ready by fall of 2023, Fleming said.

The $10.4-million White Rock Elementary and $7.6-million Morgan Elementary additions are both expected to be complete in 2022.

The provincial government is providing $57 million for the three projects.

“With these projects now approved, there are nearly 8,700 new student seats opening in the Surrey school district between September 2018 and 2023. This is the equivalent of eliminating 350 portables throughout the Surrey school district,” Fleming said.

He added that more than 11,100 new spaces are in construction, design, pre-construction or business-case planning.

“It is enough to eliminate all the portables in Surrey today,” said Fleming, adding that it is the equivalent of eliminating 350 portables.

When asked if this would still eliminate portables three to five years in Surrey, which is growing at more than 1,000 per school year, Fleming said, There has been a lot of growth in Surrey and it has been quite consistent. We have made all of our plans and investments, $363 million to date for the projects I’ve outlined today based on the commitment to eliminate portables and in anticipation of new growth…

“Yes, the answer is within three to five years, we could see upwards of 11,000 spaces built in Surrey.”

READ ALSO: ‘We will never get zero,’ Surrey school district staff says of portables, Jan. 14, 2020

As of January, the school district had 370 portables, which was up from the 333 at the start of the 2018/2019 school year.

However, Fleming said the district saw a “modest” reduction in portables during that same school year.

With Thursday’s (June 4) announcement, he said it would count for a 36-portable reduction.

Meantime, Fleming said September 2021 is the “big year” in terms of new schools and additions opening up.

School expansion/construction projects underway:

Frost Road Elementary’s 150-seat addition is expected to be complete September 2020

• Coyote Creek Elementary’s 100-seat addition expected to be complete November 2020

• The new 605-seat Douglas-area elementary is expected to open by November 2020

Sullivan Elementary’s 200-seat addition is expected to be complete November 2020

• The new 605-seat Maddaugh Road Elementary is expected to open January 2021

• The new 655-seat Edgewood Drive Elementary is planned to open February 2021

• The new 1,500-seat Grandview Heights Secondary is planned to open in September 2021

Sullivan Heights Secondary’s 700-seat addition is expected to be finished by November 2021

• Regent Road Elementary’s 655-seat new school is planned to open by January 2022

• The 250-seat addition at Sunnyside Elementary is expected to be complete September 2022

• White Rock Elementary’s 195-seat addition is expected to open in September 2022

• The 190-seat addition at Morgan Elementary is expected to be complete by December 2022

• The new 655-seat Sunnyside-area elementary is planned for September 2023

School school board Chair Laurie Larsen previously told the Now-Leader that capital projects in the district are “on track” to be completed in time even with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

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