MONTREAL, Sept. 11, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - The Office de consultation publique makes public today the report on the consultation held early this summer on a construction project for a primary school on Île des Sœurs, in the borough of Verdun. Hundreds of people attended the information sessions organized by the Office de consultation publique de Montréal, and more than 200 briefs and opinions were received.
The project involves the construction of a school in three sections located along Île-des-Sœurs Boulevard and partly on René-Lévesque Boulevard. A passenger drop-off area for buses and parents would be set up on Île-des-Sœurs Boulevard, with a stopping zone for automobiles. The school would accommodate three kindergarten and 18 primary classes.
The construction project for a new primary school on Île des Sœurs raises several issues dividing public consultation participants. The scission includes a debate raging for over two years on the island regarding the location of the project. However, it should be noted that everyone agrees on the need for a second school, given the serious overcrowding problem at the Île‐des‐Sœurs primary school.
The commission believes that two fundamental issues must be resolved immediately. Firstly, the children should no longer be penalized: a transitional solution must be found to relieve overcrowding at the Elgar school until the new school is opened, and to minimize the transfer of classes to mainland Verdun. The current situation has gone on far too long, and its consequences on the student's education and the wellbeing of both the children and staff are no longer acceptable.
Secondly, the public consultation has initiated a dialogue that must be encouraged and sustained within a participatory exercise aimed at identifying community equipment needs on the island. The commission thinks that the construction of the school may present opportunities to improve traffic flow, pedestrian safety and the landscape quality of the chosen site, and to provide access to better community equipment for all concerned. It therefore sets out a number of specific recommendations on those issues.
On the whole, the commission finds that the establishment of the second primary school on the triangle site, near Parc de la Fontaine, may be acceptable as long as a number of measures are taken simultaneously:
- That the CSMB find spaces to accommodate the students on a transitional basis until the opening of the new school, to relieve overcrowding at the Elgar school and eliminate, if possible, transfers to mainland Verdun;
- That the borough conduct a concerted planning effort with the community to identify, in the short term, community equipment needs on the island;
- That the borough immediately establish land reserves to meet the need for a third school in 2020 and the need for additional community equipment resulting from the population increase;
- That the borough reconfirm the vision leading to the development of Île des Sœurs in the original planning. To that end, that the borough apply a compensation principle where the destruction of green spaces is inevitable, in order to maintain the overall area of green spaces on the island;
- That an easement be adopted preventing the school's future expansion into Parc de la Fontaine;
- That the issues of traffic, parking, and the school's integration into its environment be reviewed to optimize positive spinoffs within the community.
All available information on the project may be obtained at the offices of the OCPM, 1550 Metcalfe Street, Suite 1414, and at the Direction du greffe at City Hall, 275 Notre-Dame Street East. The documentation is also available on the Office Web site, at www.ocpm.qc.ca.
SOURCE: Office de consultation publique de Montréal
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