MONTREAL, Dec. 18, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - The announced closure of Riverview Elementary, in Verdun, comes as a shock for Projet Montréal elected officials in the borough. "Riverview Elementary has been a part of Verdun's history for 88 years. I deeply regret seeing my alma mater disappear because of budget cuts at the Lester B. Pearson School Board. We need to find other solutions, and there is no time to waste", said Sterling Downey, city councillor for the Desmarchais-Crawford district.
A better use of resources could salvage the school, according to Marie-Andrée Mauger, borough councillor for Desmarchais-Crawford. "Before closing schools, we need to optimize resources. This hasn't been done in the case of Riverview Elementary. Partnerships between school boards could be established to share facilities and services. We also need to evaluate the real savings generated by the school's closure. This decision will deeply affect the lives of 228 children. Let's make sure it's the right one", she added.
Projet Montréal councillors are very worried about the impact of the school's closure on Verdun families. "A school is at the heart of a neighbourhood, just like the church used to be. Closing a school that's been a landmark for nearly a century will have a huge impact on the neighbourhood. We really need to think twice before going ahead with this", said Luc Gagnon, borough councillor for Desmarchais-Crawford.
Projet Montréal is also puzzled as to how the Lester B. Pearson School Board can justify such a decision, given that the Riverview Elementary school yard underwent a costly renovation as recently as 2013. "Why did the school board give the green light to the project if it intended to close the school? It's a serious blow to the parents and children who mobilized to raise funds for this project", Mr. Downey concluded.
SOURCE Ville de Montréal - Opposition officielle à l'Hôtel de Ville de Montréal
For further information: Marie-Eve Gagnon, Press attaché, Cabinet de l'opposition officielle, 514 872-0247 / 514 516-3120, [email protected]