Sports in the chapel due to lack of facilities

Due to the lack of sufficient and adequate sports facilities, the pupils of the Mont-de-La Salle secondary school are forced to do their physical education classes in the old school chapel and other premises that are in no way adapted to this need.

Young people are also limited in the sports they can practice due to the fragility of certain elements found in these places.

Over the past two years, a project to renovate the current facilities has been submitted to the educational component of the Quebec Infrastructure Plan (PQI) by the Center de services scolaire (CSS) de Laval to address the problem. However, he was not accepted.

«[Une] The request was originally submitted as part of the PQI 2021-2031 and repeated last October, assures Yves Michel Volcy, Director General of the CSS de Laval. This is also a priority project of our school service center with ministerial bodies.

To get things moving, steps have been taken by members of the Laval community. A petition presented to the National Assembly received 1,064 signatures and a promotional video was produced by members of the Parents’ Committee.

“My daughter is not really the most athletic in the world, so we want environments that encourage her to move more,” says Anne-Marie Morel, initiator of the petition. […] There are some young people who want to do more extracurricular sports, but there is a certain limitation due to lack of space.

Ms Morel adds that some of them are left speechless when faced with teams from other schools who “have a real, appropriately sized gymnasium for secondary school”.

“The project is for the school. It is really a very great need. Lessons often take place in places that are not at all suitable for our children, as the grammar school is like an elementary school.
– Anne-Marie Morel, mother of a secondary school student

The same students also tried to advance the case. The student parliament of the Laval-des-Rapides establishment voted in favor of a motion to participate in the file and to express an interest in new establishments.

“The pressure and mobilization of young people, parents and stakeholders in the sector continues,” assures Saul Polo County Provincial Assemblyman, who is involved in the dossier. […] Today it is no longer a question of whether the project has priority, but of making a decision.

Project

In addition to the existing premises and the outdoor courtyard, which can be used when the weather is nice, the facilities of the Josée Faucher sports center are available to students at the École Mont-de-La Salle.

The gym of the Julie Faucher Sports Center. (Photo courtesy of CSS de Laval)

Despite this, the CSS de Laval wants to create a brand new center worth more than $30 million. This proposal, presented to the Ministry of Education, would potentially include a gateway connecting the center to the school to allow students direct access.

The projected extension would be 4400 m2, in addition to the possibility of adding five new high-quality sports facilities and changing rooms. The center could also be made available to the population as the lack of sports facilities in the industry applies to the entire community.

“Along with our request to add sports facilities […]we also made an additional application for funding in December 2021, says Mr. Volcy. […] This aims to add a covered multifunctional outdoor sports platform, which would thus enhance the school’s sports facilities.

Like the original project, this request, valued at $4 million, was given priority by the school organization. For his part, Saul Polo believes that it is even more important to act quickly on the matter given that the construction of a $230 million modern school will soon be completed in the same sector.

“Building a school will ease the pressure on students [puisque près de 2000 élèves fréquentent actuellement l’école Mont-de-La Salle], but that will create two classes: the lucky ones in the new school and the less fortunate ones in Mont-de-La Salle. This project could serve the community in a disadvantaged neighborhood. It is not a luxury that is required.

The following

The Mont-de-La Salle school community and the CSS Laval have made several representations to the Ministry of Education over the past year to convince them of the need to carry out this project.

Mr Volcy also believes Jean-François Roberge, education minister, and Benoit Charette, ministerial delegate for the Laval region, were sensitive to the information shared during a meeting on January 24.

Laval MP Saul Polo presents the petition with 1,064 signatures to Education Minister Jean-François Roberge. (Photo courtesy)

“The provincial elected officials have shown that they are aware of the lack of sports facilities in the school and they understand that this is a priority for our organization and the community,” he adds. We have received a good response which gives us good hope of soon receiving a positive response to our funding requests to meet the great need for Mont-de-La Salle.”

“Benoit Charette and I are very active in sports infrastructure,” confirms Christopher Skeete, Sainte-Rose Provincial MP. I have school-age children, as does Minister Charette, so we understand very well that young people need an appropriate sporting infrastructure in order to be able to exercise.

Note that Mr Volcy insisted on highlighting past achievements. He points to previous investments that have helped the establishment “beyond the sports infrastructure”. This includes $3.55 million in maintenance that took place in 2021 and $10 million planned for the forthcoming revitalization of the Mont-de-La Salle school’s main building.

“It is hoped that announcements for the sports complex will be made soon. All hopes are justified and it is clear that an announcement must be made promptly so that work can begin. If this is not the case, we will certainly express our disappointment with these files,” concludes Anne-Marie Morel.

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