Rendering of the planned addition to Sullivan Heights Secondary, announced in Surrey Thursday morning. (Photo: Twitter@jordantinney)

Rendering of the planned addition to Sullivan Heights Secondary, announced in Surrey Thursday morning. (Photo: Twitter@jordantinney)

Surrey’s Sullivan Heights Secondary getting 700-seat addition

The project will create 29 new classrooms at the crowded Surrey school

Surrey’s Sullivan Heights Secondary is getting a 29-classroom, 700-seat addition, the provincial government announced Thursday morning.

“Sullivan Heights Secondary’s students have put up with crowded hallways and portables for too long,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Education, in a release. “We are proud to be making this urgently needed investment, to relieve overcrowding and give students a safer, more comfortable environment where they can focus on learning and succeed.”

The high school currently has capacity for 1,000 students, but has enrolment of more than 1,500, which has led to an extended-day school schedule.

“There are 14 portables in use, and the school uses a modified schedule to help accommodate students,” a government release notes. “This $40-million, three-storey addition will create 29 new classrooms and, once complete, the school will have enough space for 1,700 students. The portables will be removed from the site when the project is complete.”

The provincial government says the expansion will also include a new gym, and a “bridge connection” between the new building and the existing building, to provide a shared main entry and administration space.

Construction on the addition is expected to begin in winter 2020, with completion expected in fall 2021.

Surrey Board of Education Chair Laurie Larsen said the 29 new classrooms will be “among the largest school additions ever constructed in our district, if not the largest.”

According to a release, the Ministry of Education is contributing $35 million toward the expansion, and the Surrey School District is contributing $5 million.

“This is the first project under a newly negotiated cost-sharing agreement with the Surrey School District that will allow the ministry and the district to move forward on projects more quickly,” notes the province.