Press Releases


MONTREAL, MAY 9, 2013 –The English Montreal School Board has announced that
the John F. Kennedy High School and Business Centre (JFKBC) facility in St. Michel will reopen on Wednesday, May 15, almost one year after it was closed due to the discovery of asbestos.

High school students have since been housed at Rosemount High School while JFKBC operations have shifted to the Rosemount Technology Centre Curtis George Campus in Montreal North and the Shadd Business Centre in N.D.G. Plans call for their registration office to resume operations next week, with a return to classes at the facility in August. More than $2.8 million was spent on expenditures for the building. This included re-insulating of pipes that are located in the ceiling, renewal of the fire detection system and the overall cleaning of the facility.

John F. Kennedy High School Principal Joseph Marra says a grand celebration is planned for May 15, including a pep rally and barbeque.

“The Département de la Santé Publique (DSP) has confirmed that the JFK facilities are now clean and safe and that we can now occupy the building,” said EMSB Director General Robert Stocker. “This has been a long road that we have gone down together.”

In addition, the Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CSST) is also satisfied that the premises are now clean and safe.  The building has been released by the contractor in order for all of the necessary equipment and furniture to be installed to make it ready   to accept the staff and students.

 “I would like to commend everyone involved in this process,” commented EMSB Chairman Angela Mancini. “We promised the staff and students of JFK that they would get their facility back and our goal all along was to do so before the conclusion of this academic year. We congratulate the administrations of the high school and Business Centre for maintaining our pedagogical mission during challenging times.  In addition, we must give a big thank you to the administrations of Rosemount High School, Rosemount Technology Centre and the Shadd Business Centre for showing what being part of one big family is all about. They never complained and instead opened their doors wide. Both the JFK and Rosemount students need to be commended as well for their ability to adapt to a very difficult situation and make the best of it.”

Exactly one year ago, traces of asbestos were found in two ventilation rooms in the facility. Following the EMSB’s asbestos protocol, a firm which deals with the analysis and removal of this material was called in and it was removed.  Air quality testing following a removal of asbestos is usual and was done and the entire facility was deemed safe following some initial tests that required some ducts to be cleaned again. While this entire process took much longer than expected, the EMSB took the most prudent approach possible and can now send staff and students back to the facility with the utmost confidence.


Michael J. Cohen
Communications and Marketing Specialist
English Montreal School Board
Tel: (514) 483-7200 ext. 7243
Fax: (514) 483-7213