More classrooms, safer seats coming to Surrey students

A 240-seat expansion at K.B. Woodward Elementary and seismic upgrades at Prince Charles Elementary and Queen Elizabeth Secondary will bring an improved learning experience to students in Surrey.

“No matter where they live, B.C. students deserve the best educational experiences possible, and that means learning in safe, engaging and inspiring classrooms,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Education. “We are continuing our progress on improving schools for students in Surrey, and these projects are a great example of our work and our progress for families in the community.”

The Government of B.C. is investing $39.8 million for the three projects, which will add eight classrooms and renovate two classrooms at K.B. Woodward Elementary, along with seismic upgrades at both Prince Charles Elementary and Queen Elizabeth Secondary, creating 2,040 safe seats. The expansion at K.B. Woodward is expected to be ready for students in January 2023, while the seismic projects are scheduled to be complete in 2022.

“The schools in our community are a vital part of our neighbourhoods, and we need to invest in them so they can continue to benefit students and families into the future,” said Bruce Ralston, MLA for Surrey-Whalley. “The investments we’re making in K.B. Woodward and Prince Charles elementary schools mean even more Surrey students will soon see the benefit of learning in safe, positive environments.”

Rachna Singh, MLA for Surrey-Green Timbers, said: “Queen Elizabeth Secondary is essential to students and families in our community, and we need to continue maintaining it so it can be an educational home to our youth for decades to come. “This is an important investment in the future of Surrey, and I’m excited to know that parents can soon have the comfort of knowing their children will be protected at school if an earthquake occurs.”

Since September 2017, the Province has announced $403 million for 25 school capital projects in the Surrey School District, including seismic upgrades at six schools, 14 new or expanded schools and land purchases for four future schools. These investments are bringing 4,120 seismically safer seats to the community and are helping to create nearly 8,900 new student seats in Surrey between 2018 and 2023.

“This announcement is welcome news for our students, staff and larger school community,” said Laurie Larsen, chair, Surrey Board of Education. “The classroom addition at K.B. Woodward Elementary and seismic upgrades to Prince Charles Elementary and Queen Elizabeth Secondary will allow our district to continue meeting our growing community’s needs in a safe and sustainable manner.”

In the last three years, government has announced over $2.1 billion for 101 school capital projects, creating nearly 29,000 seismically safer student seats and more than 13,000 new student seats at new and improved schools throughout B.C.

To continue this momentum, Budget 2020 includes a record $2.8 billion for seismic upgrades and replacements, new and expanded schools, and land purchases for future schools.