|EMSB UNVEILS LOCATION AND TIMELINE FOR NEW $23 MILLION FACILITY FOR THE MACKAY CENTRE & PHILIP E. LAYTON SCHOOLS|
MONTREAL, AUGUST 31, 2015 – The English Montreal School Board celebrated the first day of school on Monday, August 31 with the exciting news that brand new building to house the Mackay Centre and Philip E. Layton Schools will be constructed on Terrebonne Avenue in NDG, near Madison.
Of the $23 million budgeted to complete the project, the Ministère de l'Éducation, de l'Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche (MEESR) is contributing $20.46 million. EMSB Chairman Angela Mancini and Principal Patrizia Ciccarelli were joined by other school board officials and invited dignitaries at a press conference.
Ms, Mancini explained that the Terrebonne land already belongs to the EMSB. It is part of the property of the former Somerled Elementary School, which closed in 2000. Soon after, the Commission Scolaire de Montréal opened a new primary school called École Marc Favreau in the facility. The EMSB, however, retained ownership of the very large piece of greenspace.
“We had many opportunities to sell this land,” said Ms. Mancini. “I am very glad that we resisted the temptation. As a result we have an ideal location to build this state of the art school for a very specific group of special needs students and we need not worry about spending any money to purchase the land. All of our financing can go into the actual building.”
The Mackay Centre and Philip E. Layton Schools have effectively been 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 last 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.
At last week’s Council of Commissioners meeting, a selection committee was appointed to complete the evaluation process and make recommendations to the executive committee in terms of the engagement of professionals, architects, engineers and finalizing the call for public tenders. The objective is to have the new facility ready for the 2018-2019 academic year.
“One must understand that this is not a typical school we are constructing,” stated Ms. Mancini. “It must designed and equipped specifically to deal with the special needs population we cater to.”
Michael J. Cohen