Education minister Peter Fassbender greets students at Adams Road Elementary School in Cloverdale Monday.

More classrooms for Adams Road elementary

A Cloverdale elementary school is one of three in Surrey getting additions to bring extra classroom space in rapidly growing district.

Adams Road, a Cloverdale elementary school that opened just four years ago, is already set for a big expansion.

The school is getting 10 new classrooms in a new, two-storey addition that will break ground in a couple of weeks, adding 240 spaces once completed next year, boosting capacity to 530.

Education minister Peter Fassbender, Surrey-Cloverdale MLA Stephanie Cadieux, Surrey School Board chair Shawn Wilson and others joined staff, parents and students for a sod-turning ceremony Monday.

“It’s hard to believe that this school was just opened four years ago, and we’re here today announcing another addition of 10 additional classrooms,” Fassbender said.

“That’s going to take the capacity of the school up, and probably not in terms of future growth. It’s always the challenge,” he said.

The project is one of three new elementary school additiohttp://webpapersadmin.bcnewsgroup.com/portals/uploads/cloverdale/.DIR288/wAdamsRoadshovels.jpgns announced for the school district, representing $9.4 million in combined costs.

[PICTURED: Adams Road Elementary students join MLA Stephanie Cadieux, Surrey School Board Chair Shawn Wilson, principal Joanne Berka and Education Minister Peter Fassbender in a ceremonial tossing of sod. Jennifer Lang photo]

The Surrey Board of Education is contributing $19 million (or 30 per cent) of the total construction costs for the three school expansions (Adams Road, Morgan Elementary and Rosemary Heights), and towards the previously announced $55.2 million Clayton North high school.

“It’s a significant investment on the part of Surrey School District and the province to make sure we meet the growth that we have and the growth that we’re seeing in the future,” Fassbender said.

Located at 18228 68 Ave. in a neighbourhood surrounded by new residential development, Adams Road welcomed about 235 students when it opened in January, 2011. As the community has grown, so has enrolment, currently sitting at 475, with 520 students registered for September.

Surrey school board chair Shawn Wilson called the expansion announcement the latest success in addressing the pace of residential growth.

“Surrey and the Surrey school district are popular places to live,” he said, noting the school already has 13 portables. “It means we pretty much have an ongoing challenge in managing growth in the district.

Adams Road principal Joanne Berka thanked staff, students and parents for their “patience and perseverance” in working around overcapacity issues in the past few years.

“It will be great to see the work beginning in the next few weeks. It will be a very visible and tangible way to know that relief is on the way for some of our portables.”

Berka called the addition plans exciting.

Eight new elementary classrooms and two more kindergarten classrooms will be built around a central space.

“There are some large, common spaces where we can all work together.”