SURREY – A new, energy-efficient elementary school is coming to the South Newton neighbourhood, giving hundreds of Surrey students a modern place to go to school as more education investments are made to support one of B.C.’s fastest-growing cities.

“With new and expanded schools opening throughout Surrey, it’s vital that we keep investing in projects that move students out of portables and into classrooms for a better learning experience,” said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Education. “As our investments continue, we’re also doing our part to build schools in a way that reduces greenhouse gases, so students can have a more modern place to learn and a cleaner, stronger future.”

The Government of B.C. is providing $38.9 million to build a new, 655-seat elementary school in South Newton expected to open in 2025, supporting projected growth in the area. The Surrey School District is contributing an additional $5 million. The school will also include a neighbourhood learning centre that will add new before- and after-school child care spaces to the city.

“By increasing access to affordable, quality and inclusive child care in Surrey, we’re helping families, while supporting the economic growth of one of the Lower Mainland’s fastest-growing communities,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “On-site child care options provide excellent early-learning experiences for children and environmental benefits as well, helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by limiting drop-off and pickup locations for parents and optimizing the use of space on school grounds.”

The school will be built on 148th Street, adjacent to Goldstone Park.

This investment is part of the Province’s progress to reduce the need for portables in Surrey, with nearly $450 million approved for school construction and land purchases in less than four years. These projects are helping to create nearly 9,600 new student spaces in Surrey by 2025.

The Surrey School District also has support from the Ministry of Education to develop business cases for additional expansion projects to further reduce the need for portables throughout the community.

“Families are finally seeing the concrete results of our work to give students in our communities the positive, inspiring and engaging learning experience they deserve – close to home,” said Jinny Sims, MLA for Surrey-Panorama. “We’ve already seen three new schools open this school year alone, and we look forward to more opening in the months and years ahead, as families keep choosing to raise their children in Surrey.”

In support of the CleanBC initiative, the new South Newton elementary school will be built with greenhouse gas reduction strategies. This is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions of the facility by 89% compared to what a standard new school would produce.

“We’re thrilled to have funding in place, so we can move forward with building a new school in an area of our city that continues to grow and attract young families,” said Laurie Larsen, chair, Surrey Board of Education. “Having sufficient, innovative and inspiring learning spaces for students is so important, and the fact this new school will be built with sustainability and energy conservation in mind makes a good situation even better.”

To further support growth in Surrey, construction begins in April 2021 on the 250-seat addition at Sunnyside Elementary school. That school is scheduled to be completed by September 2022 and will significantly reduce the number of portables required in the community.

Since September 2017, the Province has announced more than $2.3 billion in major school construction projects, including new and expanded schools, seismic upgrades and replacements, and land purchases for future schools.