May 20, 2016 12:09 pm
Updated: May 20, 2016 9:51 pm

Surrey to get new schools, more spaces for students

WATCH: The British Columbia government is addressing overcrowding in Surrey's schools by announcing plans for two new schools. Jill Bennett reports.

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The City of Surrey is expanding its spaces for students.

In an announcement on Friday, Premier Christy Clark promised funding for up to 2,700 new student spaces, a new high school, a new elementary school and the purchase of land for a future elementary school.

Here’s how it breaks down:

• Sullivan, Woodward Hill and Panorama Park elementary schools will get up to 600 new student seats that will be ready when classes start in fall 2017.

• The construction of a new high school, Grandview Heights Secondary, will start in 2017 and be complete by end of 2020, with room for 1,500 students.

• Construction of Clayton North Elementary School will start in 2017 and be complete by the end of 2019, with space for 605 students.

WATCH: Critics say the British Columbia government’s plan for two new schools in Surrey is really just a plan to win over voters before next year’s provincial election. Keith Baldrey reports.

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Land for a future elementary school will also be purchases in Port Kells.

The budget of the entire project is $99.5 million. The province will contribute $74.2 million and the Surrey school district will contribute $25.3 million.

“Families are making a choice to call Surrey home – and that’s driving incredible growth along with our strong economy,” said Clark in a statement. “We’ve worked together with the Surrey school district to identify key projects and move them ahead quickly to make sure as many classrooms as possible are built for Surrey families and students.”

Construction is already underway at the new Clayton North Secondary School and at Adams Road, Morgan and Rosemary Heights Elementary schools to add space for 1,870 students.

“It’s great to see that the school overcapacity concerns voiced by our board and so many others in our community have been heard by the Premier and Minister of Education with this significant announcement, and I thank them,” said Shawn Wilson, Surrey Board of Education chair in a statement. “I also thank the students, staff and parents for their enormous patience, and I’m happy to say our board earlier invested in hiring architects and taking initial steps for construction of the new school sites so we would be ready to launch these projects; we’re ready to go.”

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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