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With Surrey Board of Education chair Laurie Larsen at his side, Education Minister Rob Fleming announces the acquisition of two parcels of land in Surrey for new schools.
The Surrey School District can move forward with planning for two new schools, thanks to funding from the province to purchase land.
The Government of B.C. is providing $25.5 million for the district to purchase a school site in the Redwood Heights neighbourhood in South Surrey, and Surrey Schools has also secured a school site for a new elementary school in the South Newton neighbourhood. These land purchases are in addition to the land that was purchased for an elementary school in Sunnyside Heights last year.
"The Surrey School District is the largest and fastest growing district in the province. Our student population has been steadily increasing every year," said Laurie Larsen, Chair of the Surrey Board of Education. "We currently have almost 74,000 students, and we're projecting an additional 1,000 students for the next school year.
"This type of growth requires strong partnerships – with all levels of government. I am so proud of the collaborative relationship we have with the Ministry of Education and the City of Surrey. Together we are addressing the growth our community is experiencing and finding sustainable solutions that work for parents and students."
The Surrey School District, the Province and the City of Surrey have been working together to accelerate the pace of school construction for families in Surrey. Their work continued today, with the three parties getting together at the fifth Surrey Schools Summit to continue their ongoing collaboration.
With rapid development in South Newton, Redwood Heights and Sunnyside, these schools are needed to accommodate the thousands of new families moving to the communities.
“Our government is acting now to make sure land is in place to build new schools for students, as Surrey’s population continues to grow,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Education. “These are forward-thinking investments that will be vital to getting more students out of portables and into the positive, engaging and inspiring classrooms that they deserve.”
"Today's announcement of new school sites for Surrey lines up with the Smart Development initiative my Council colleagues and I have put in place for our city," added Mayor Doug McCallum. "It's no secret that for far too long developments in Surrey were being approved without the essential infrastructure, such as schools, needed to support a new community."
In the interest of long- and short-range development planning, the city's Smart Development focuses on offering Surrey residents a variety of housing options near schools, parks and other essential infrastructure. The plan has an emphasis on livability with safe routes for walking, cycling and recreation, while prioritizing environmental consciousness by conserving of sensitive ecosystems.
In the last three years, the Province has announced $270.5 million in funding for new schools, additions, seismic upgrades and site acquisitions in Surrey.
The following new schools and additions have received Ministry of Education funding and are underway in the Surrey School District: