2 Surrey elementary schools receive $10.4 million funding for seismic upgrades

Two Surrey elementary schools have received $10.4 million in provincial funding for seismic upgrades.

Work at Mary Jane Shannon Elementary and Bear Creek Elementary will begin in 2018

B.C. Education Minister Rob Fleming announced two Surrey elementary schools will receive $10.4 million funding for seismic upgrades. (Tristan Le Rudulier/ CBC News)

B.C.'s education ministry has announced $10.4 million in funding to seismically upgrade two elementary schools in Surrey.

Construction will begin in 2018 at Mary Jane Shannon Elementary and Bear Creek Elementary, according to the ministry.

The majority of the provincial funds — $7.33 million — will go to upgrade Mary Jane Shannon Elementary in the Guildford Park area.

Bear Creek Elementary's seismic upgrades include classrooms and a gymnasium and will cost $3.11 million.

 "These projects represent a milestone because these are the only schools remaining in the district that are rated most vulnerable for seismic risk," said a statement from Surrey School Board chair Laurie Larsen.

"We look forward to seeing these building upgrades completed and thank students, staff and parents for their patience during construction."

The two elementary schools have a total combined population of more than 800 students. 

 "Nothing is more important to me than the safety of students in B.C. and making this investment to ease the minds of hundreds of families in Surrey is an easy decision to make," said B.C. Education Minister Rob Fleming in a statement.

"We know we have more work to do in Surrey and throughout the province, and we are working with school districts and local governments to accelerate funding for seismic upgrades at every school that needs it."

Construction at both schools is expected to be completed by 2019.