There’s a new school on the Semiahmoo Peninsula, after Edgewood Elementary officially began welcoming students this week.
Opening the South Surrey school, which is located at 16666 23 Ave., is “an amazing way to kick off the new year,” Surrey Board of Education chair Laurie Larsen said in a news release issued Monday.
“We are thrilled to ring in 2021 with Edgewood Elementary. Just as these students are excited to move to Edgewood, so are we to open another great school in Surrey.”
Edgewood Elementary will draw from the Pacific Heights and Sunnyside elementary catchment areas, according to the Surrey school district.
The new facility features 27 classrooms, collaboration spaces, a large gymnasium, library, a learning commons, lab and a multipurpose room, as well as a number of outdoor amenities.
The Ministry of Education provided more than $27 million in funding for the school.
“It’s an astounding building – you notice the architecture as soon as you walk into the front entrance,” said principal Shaun Nelson.
“The design is very open, very expansive, there was an incredible amount of thought into traffic flows coming into the school.
“We have some really neat features for kids at recess and lunch to hang out and talk, to play on our fields, basketball courts, a new playground. And beside us, we have Edgewood Park and we can do a quick walk over there without crossing a street.”
The school has 363 students currently, including those attending a blended-learning program.
Nelson said the district worked with Fraser Health to safely reorganize students in their cohorts.
“We’re trying to minimize the impact on not only the change for students but also that movement of students into different cohorts,” he said, noting the school’s design allows for numerous ways to follow distancing protocols, such as exterior classroom entrances, wide sidewalks and sinks near the door for hand-washing.
Only half of the classrooms are expected to be occupied initially, as the school was built for 655 students in anticipation of ongoing development and growth in the area.
Nelson said this puts Edgewood in a unique position, compared to schools experiencing growing pains.
“We get a chance to not only have lots of extra space in the school, but we get to grow into the school as our community continues to build around us,” he said.
“Just that whole idea of bringing everyone together under one brand new roof, people are beyond excited to start 2021 on a different foot and build that legacy and that culture.”
Edgewood Elementary is the second new elementary school to open in Surrey in recent months. Douglas Elementary, at 17325 2 Ave., opened two months ago.