SURREY, BC - APRIL 18, 2019 - BC Premier John Horgan makes an announcement at Sullivan Elementary School April 18, 2019 in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Govt of BC)

Surrey: Students will soon be moving out of portables at Sullivan Elementary, with the creation of 200 new spaces.

Since September 2017, the Province has announced 2,510 new student seats for Surrey and 6,350 in other communities throughout British Columbia, with many more to come.

“The new spaces at Sullivan Elementary are part of our government’s work to deliver better education for every student in Surrey and around the province,” said Premier John Horgan. “This 200-seat addition will move kids out of portables and into classrooms, and provide a better environment to give them the learning opportunities they need to succeed.”

The Province has announced it will provide $9.6 million in additional funding to move this project forward and give Sullivan students a better place to go to school. The Surrey School District will provide $1.5 million.

The $15-million expansion of Sullivan Elementary will bring eight new classrooms and an expanded gymnasium to the school. Work on the new addition has begun, and the new classrooms are expected to be ready for students in September 2020.

The project was first announced in May 2016 as a $3.9-million addition that would open in fall 2017, but construction never began under the previous government.

“When we were sworn into government, this project should have been further along than it was,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Education. “Our government took quick action to add the necessary funds to build this addition, so fewer students will need to spend their days in portables.”

Since September 2017, government has approved investments of more than $220 million in Surrey, including new student seats at new and expanded schools, seismic upgrades to keep kids safe, and land purchases to plan for future growth. Currently, there are 2,100 more student spaces under business-case development.

“I know our parents and our children especially are looking forward to having the new spaces and gym addition,” said Elaine Rorison, president, Sullivan Elementary’s parent advisory council. “We are all grateful to the efforts of the Surrey Board of Education and the Ministry of Education to make this project happen.”

The Province is making record investments in B.C.’s education system to support students through smaller class sizes, more resources in the classroom and improved learning environments.

More is on the way for students in Surrey and throughout British Columbia. In less than two years, government has doubled the rate of investment in expansion projects from the previous decade. Budget 2019 includes a record $2.7 billion for school capital investments to continue this momentum.

Construction will be underway at the new Grandview Heights Secondary, Coyote Creek Elementary, Frost Road Elementary and Douglas-area elementary schools before the end of this school year.

Jinny Sims, MLA for Surrey-Panorama said: “I’m proud to be part of a government that is putting kids first and investing in real classrooms for our kids. Families in our community have waited a long time for these new classrooms, and I can’t wait to see the project complete so students can have a better school experience at Sullivan Elementary.”