Sunday, September 24, 2023

Pieces of the ceiling fell on seven elementary schools in Montreal

Unusually hot and humid September temperatures caused plasterboard to come off the ceilings of seven elementary schools in the Center de services scolaire de Montréal (CSSDM) last week. A student from Hochelaga district sustained minor injuries.

On Monday, the CSSDM called on all schools in its territory to thoroughly inspect their ceilings following these incidents.

Four of the schools are located in the Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie district, the other three in the Plateau-Mont-Royal, Villeray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extension and Mercier–Hochelaga-Maisonneuve boroughs.

All of these are D or E rated buildings, meaning some structures are in a BAD or one bad situation.

At the school of Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption, in the district of Hochelaga, a thin layer of plaster fell directly on a student. The child did not need to go to the hospital and was able to escape very minor injuries assures CSSDM.

In a letter sent on Friday to all parents of the school, director Josée Dagenais indicated that a plasterboard came off the ceiling (…) and hit a student in the class. Fortunately, this one is doing well.

On the same day, parents at the school in La Petite-Patrie received a similar communication about the kindergarten class: Two pieces of plaster from the ceiling are missing (…). We immediately moved the classroom because of the dust created by the plaster spill. wrote its director Mélanie Cormier.

According to CSSDM, this type of incident usually happens in the summer, but goes unnoticed, because the buildings are empty. The fact that many incidents occurred in the middle of the beginning of the school year is a situation that’s amazing supports the deputy general director of material resources of the CSSDM, Stéphane Chaput.

Old buildings to be renovated

The seven buildings were built between 1925 and 1933. At that time, a lot of plaster finishing was done, meaning that it was not the structure of the building that was affected, but the finishing plaster. he specified.

With the increased heat and humidity of the past few days, it has weakened the plaster, which is, so to speak, old.

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Mr. explained Chaput that most buildings today are equipped suspended ceilings in other words an additional ceiling that protects the students in case of falling plaster because the pieces fall in a gap in the ceiling.

In the school of Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption, for example, only four classes are absent additional ceiling (including the one where the incident occurred). Some have been renovated.

Only at the Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption school was a student slightly affected. In other schools, it fell through the ceilings, or there was (only) dust, or we warned that it would fall and the students were moved (before the incident)explained Mr. Chaput.

One of the walls of the Louis-Joseph Papineau school

In its master plan presented in the summer of 2022, the CSSDM estimates that it will receive $128 million in subsidies from Quebec for 2022-2023, while its department of material resources estimates the needs at $331 million.

Chosen by Mr. Chaput does not make a connection between the falling plaster and this funding gap. He also emphasized that the schools in the metropolis are struggling to catch up in terms of the aging of the buildings that started in several years.

Broken schools: revision of the approach in progress

The case comes as Quebec completes an audit that began this spring to ensure that the school inspection process is applied in a compliant manner in Quebec.

This analysis comes from the intervention of Prime Minister François Legault this winter questioning the current classification system A, B, C, D, E.

Legault’s government then explained that some school service centers may have overestimated the amount needed to change their infrastructure.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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