SURREY - Education Minister George Abbott and local representatives from the Surrey school district put shovels to soil today at the future site of Goldstone Park Elementary as they symbolically broke ground on four separate school projects.
The start-of-construction celebration marks the next phase for two brand-new elementary schools and additions to two secondary schools to help meet growing enrolment in SD 36. The projects, worth more than $44 million, will create an additional 1,660 student spaces and about 280 jobs during construction. These projects are part of Premier Christy Clark's $353-million capital plan announced last October.
Goldstone Park Elementary, named after the adjacent park, will be built in the South Newton area. It is expected to cost $14.7 million and will have capacity for 555 kindergarten to Grade 7 students. The other new elementary school, in the Clayton East area, will be called Katzie Elementary as it sits on the traditional lands of the Katzie First Nation. It is expected to cost $14 million and will have capacity for 605 kindergarten to Grade 7 students.
Fraser Heights Secondary will receive an addition at a cost of $7.1 million, resulting in increased space for 200 students. École Panorama Ridge Secondary's addition is expected to cost $8.4 million and will create space for 300 students.
All four sites will include space for Neighbourhood Learning Centres. As the projects progress, the school district will work with various community partners to determine what services each centre will offer. Construction is expected to be completed by September 2013.
George Abbott, Minister of Education -
"It's a pretty unique opportunity to be celebrating a milestone like this on four different projects, in the same school district, at the same time. I am confident these additional classroom spaces and Neighbourhood Learning Centres will serve the needs of this school district and its growing communities well."
Kevin Falcon, MLA, Surrey-Cloverdale -
"Today's groundbreaking event for new schools in Surrey is a direct result of our commitment to capital investments. Education has long been a priority for our government and these new schools will benefit young learners and their families for years to come."
Stephanie Cadieux, MLA, Surrey-Panorama -
"I'm very pleased to see these projects move into their next phase. Surrey is filled with strong and vibrant families and the classroom and community spaces being added to the school district will have lasting benefits on everyone who calls these areas home."
Dave S. Hayer, MLA, Surrey-Tynehead -
"As enrolment in our school district continues to climb, the importance of capital projects can't be understated. These additions and new schools will help address this growth. I am also very proud to see the Katzie First Nation, located within my riding, honoured in the naming of the Clayton East elementary school."
Laurae McNally, chair, Surrey board of education -
"This is a huge milestone on our way to adding 1,660 more student spaces in our district because we're past the proposals and paperwork and can now see the schools being built."
"While I confess at times it felt like our board had to move heaven and earth to get new schools, it's wonderful to see the earth now actually being moved to build them. I thank the provincial government and all those in our community who helped get us to this point."
- The Surrey school district (SD 36) is the largest in B.C. and the fastest growing. It currently has more than 72,000 elementary, secondary and adult students and is expected to continue to grow at a rate of 1,000 students per year.
- Since 2001, the government of B.C. has invested more than $243 million for 49 capital and seismic projects and eight site acquisitions in the Surrey school district.
- Since 2001, the government of B.C. has spent more than $2.1 billion to complete 93 new and replacement schools, 150 additions, 27 renovations and 22 site acquisitions throughout British Columbia.
- The government is currently working to upgrade, replace and build a total of 60 schools throughout B.C. over the next four years. The total cost of these projects is approximately $1.5 billion.
BC's Education Plan: www.bcedplan.ca
Surrey school district: http://www.sd36.bc.ca/
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Education