Monday, December 11, 2023

The future of an abandoned Rosemont site at the center of debate

It is a large building on land of such magnitude: the former headquarters of the Montreal School Service Center (CSSDM), located in Rosemont, has been vacant for three years and is in an advanced state of disrepair. . CSSDM wants to make this a vocational training school, but others are pleading for social housing.

It is impossible to miss this beautiful building on Sherbrooke East Street, a stone’s throw from the Olympic Stadium. Over the years, it hosted the administrative center of the CSSDM. However, the dilapidation of the area meant that the employees left it in 2020, after sections of the building were condemned.

Since then, nothing has happened there, but CSSDM has plans to build a professional training center there.

There is a grouping of the Faubourgs-de-Montréal School of Trades and the Horticultural Trades – which is linked to the Botanical Garden – which are not places suitable for teaching, explained Mathieu Desjardins, director of the service, in an interview. organization.

“A training center for service beneficiaries is not a classroom with desks. It is hospital beds, bathrooms. For now, it is working, but what we are being asked to do is to add of the training rate for these people,” said Mr. Desjardins.

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Quebec has actually invested millions in professional training, especially for the start of training in “priority” areas, for example training personnel who will give a hand to the health network.

It’s cheaper than secondary school, says CSSDM

CSSDM wants to play chess, real estate version: by transferring students from the Faubourgs-de-Montreal School of Trades to another building, we can increase the reception capacity of the Pierre secondary school -Dupuy, in the Center – South. The two schools (professional and ordinary) are currently integrated.

This is because it is expected that this sector of the city, near the Jacques-Cartier Bridge, will soon need a place to live for high school students. The upcoming real estate projects in the land of Radio-Canada and in the Bridge-Bonaventure sector will soon change the situation, says Mathieu Desjardins.

“For example, we decide to build a school in Bridge-Bonaventure, just for the land, it will cost 150 million. The construction of a secondary school with 1000 places, in the market, 150 million. So we will be 300 million,” estimated Mr. Desjardins.

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These future students can go to the Pierre-Dupuy school, a “secondary school turned into a secondary school,” continued the director of the CSSDM school organization service.

Quebec says no, for now

The school service center submitted a project in this sense as part of the 2023-2033 Quebec Infrastructure Plan, but Quebec said no. At the moment.

“At this time, however, it seems premature to recommend the continuation of the project because some elements, such as the scope of work or cost estimates, remain to be clarified,” replied Esther Chouinard, spokesperson of the Ministry of Education, who added that discussions with CSS are ongoing.

Should we destroy the old administrative center, which was judged to be in “very poor condition” and whose asset maintenance deficit is over 15 million? How much does professional schooling cost? In these two points, the CSSDM is not progressing, but intends to return to office with Quebec this year.

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Build social housing

Not so fast, says the Rosemont Housing Committee, which believes that public land available “must remain at the service of the community”.

The Future Of An Abandoned Rosemont Site At The Center Of Debate

It must not be handed over, alienated, sold to private interests.

Jean-Claude Laporte, community organizer for the Rosemont Housing Committee

The group is not against building a vocational school on this site, but will work hard to ensure that this large building and the entire land remain in the public domain.

We can build social housing there, said Jean-Claude Laporte, community organizer for the Rosemont Housing Committee. “Everyone’s taxes pay for this land, it should not only serve a minority,” added the community organizer.

The Committee said it is currently in contact with the CSSDM in this regard. “We are in discussions more than ever. Need to send a formal notice to get a simple response. They did not respond to emails or phone calls,” Mr. Laporte said. “We don’t want to lose ground,” he concluded.

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