|EMSB CHAIRMAN MANCINI PLEASED WITH EDUCATION MINISTER’S OPTIMISM FOR A NEW MACKAY CENTRE & PHILIP E. LAYTON FACILITY|
MONTREAL, NOVEMBER 10, 2014 – English Montreal School Board (EMSB) officials are more optimistic than ever that a new facility will be built in NDG to house the Mackay Centre and Philip E. Layton Schools, following very encouraging words from Quebec Minister of Education, Leisure and Sports Dr. Yves Bolduc.
Dr. Bolduc made his first visit to the facility on Decarie Boulevard on November 7, touring the building and speaking to students and staff. In a meeting with senior EMSB representatives, he agreed that the present-day premises are not adequate to meet the needs of the clientele. One classroom he visited was a converted secretary’s office. He pledged to go back to the Treasury Board to seek the necessary funds.
“We are grateful to Dr. Bolduc for taking the time to visit us and see for himself our needs for these very vulnerable students,” commented EMSB Chairman Angela Mancini. “It is our sincere hope that he will be able to provide us with some very good news in the months ahead. Finally, after several years of uncertainty, we believe a resolution is near. We waited a long time to have the Education Minister to come to this facility as seeing is really believing.”
The Mackay Centre and Philip E. Layton Schools are effectively tenants of the MAB-Mackay Rehabilitation Centre (MMRC), which falls under the jurisdiction of Minister of Health and Social Services. For decades, the Philip E. Layton School was located at the Montreal Association for the Blind (MAB) facility on Sherbrooke Street West in NDG where renovations forced them to move to the Decarie Boulevard building this past September. The Mackay Centre School, educates children with physical disabilities, the deaf and students with communication disorders. P.E. Layton services the blind and/or physically handicapped and /or intellectually handicapped students. Both schools have a supra-regional mandate and consequently, the EMSB is the only school board to offer services to this particular group of English students, not only in the Montreal region, but in the province of Quebec.
For more than three years, the EMSB has been working with the MELS towards the acquisition of the property. The EMSB is now requesting funds for a brand new facility to build on land it already owns in NDG.
Joining Ms. Mancini at the meeting were Vice-Chairman Sylvia Lo Bianco, Commissioner Joseph Lalla, Parent Commissioner and Mackay Centre School Governing Board Chairman and ACSES Chairman, Joanne Charron, Deputy Director Generals Roma Medwid and Angelo Marino, Director of Material Resources Daniel Hogue, Mackay Centre/Phil E. Layton Schools Principal Patrizia Ciccarelli and Vice-Principal Joe Anne Desir.
Michael J. Cohen