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Hundreds more students at Surrey's Panorama Park Elementary have a better learning environment now that an eight-classroom addition is complete.
"After years of underinvestment in Surrey, we worked hard to get students out of portables," said Rob Fleming, Minister of Education. "When students have the positive, engaging educational experience they deserve, they have a better chance to succeed – and it's great to see that happening at Panorama Park."
The expansion was a $6.1-million project funded by the province that added 200 seats to the busy school near 62 Avenue and 128 Street and eliminated the need for portables.
Panorama Park's Grade 1 students sang for visitors prior to the official opening Dec. 6.
"We're pleased that government has made getting students out of portables and back into classrooms a reality in Surrey," said Laurie Larsen, chair of the Surrey Board of Education. "Surrey is growing at such a fast pace, and these types of investments are integral in ensuring that our students have a positive educational experience in safe and modern facilities."
Grade 7 student Paulo (centre, right) spoke about the new flexible spaces and equipment at the school, including an open, collaborative area with a garage door opening to the outdoors.
"It's always great to be able to breathe fresh air and do math at the same time," he quipped, going on to describe whiteboard tables students can draw and write on and two classrooms with dividers that can either separate classes or bring them together as "one big community."
Teacher Harman Gill said the new extension has created a space that enables students to participate in lively group discussions, sharing of knowledge and collaboration.
"The fluidity of the student and teacher work space aligns with twenty first century learning where the emphasis is placed on the process," said Gill.
Teacher Amrit Hundal agrees.
"With the new space, students and teachers have been engaging in a more collaborative environment," she said. "The extension has provided learning opportunities for students that encourage movement, networking ideas and taking ownership of their learning. The accessibility for an outdoor learning space has also contributed to a flex environment that progresses beyond the classroom."
The following school expansion projects are underway in Surrey, with additional space and expected completion dates in brackets:
Pacific Heights Elementary (300-seat addition, April 2020)
Coyote Creek Elementary (100-seat addition, September 2020)
Frost Road Elementary (150-seat addition, September 2020)
Sullivan Elementary (200-seat addition, September 2020)
Maddaugh Road Elementary (605-seat new school, January 2021)
Edgewood drive-area elementary (655-seat new school, January 2021)
Douglas-area elementary (new 605-seat school, January 2021)
Grandview Heights Secondary (new 1,500-seat school, September 2021)
Sullivan Heights Secondary (700-seat addition, September 2021)
Regent Road Elementary (new 655-seat school, January 2022)
Panorama Park Elementary - November 2019 from Surrey Schools on Vimeo.