|OFFICIAL GROUNDBREAKING CEREMONY HELD FOR MACKAY / PHILIP E. LAYTON FACILITY|
MONTREAL, NOVEMBER 2, 2016 – The official groundbreaking ceremony for the new $21.9 million dollar state-of-the-art facility for the Mackay Centre and Philip E. Layton Schools was held on November 2.
The facility will be built on a now empty piece of land located on Terrebonne Street, between Benny and Madison Avenues, in NDG. The English Montreal School Board (EMSB) has owned the green space for decades. The field is currently under municipal custodianship and is being used as an informal playing field by the public and the neighbouring Commission scolaire de Montréal (CSDM) elementary school École Marc-Favreau.
The new school will house approximately 200 students with developmental, intellectual, auditory or visual impairments and will be the only one of its kind to offer specialized educational and rehabilitative services for the Anglophone community. Its supra-regional mandate means that students from all nine Quebec English School Boards will be attending this school. Some students must by travel as much as three hours per day by school bus.
The entire facility has been carefully designed to cater to the diverse needs of its student population. On the ground floor, numerous specialized classrooms, washrooms, an outdoor courtyard, as well as an indoor therapeutic swimming pool are just some of the standard facilities planned. The second floor will accommodate the school administration as well as private offices and equipment for medical professionals.
All efforts have been made by the EMSB to minimize the impact on commuting students, nearby residents and the environment. The building will be climate controlled via a geothermal heat-exchange system. Construction materials will be fabricated off-site to minimize noise and dust pollution. As many existing mature trees as possible will be preserved. Sick trees will be inspected, pruned and/or replaced with healthy saplings.
To minimize traffic impact, school bus drop-off points will be located on the school property and a parking lot for 100 cars will be created. To ensure the safety of the students, crossing guard and bussing services will be carefully coordinated with St. Monica and Marc-Favreau schools.
Access to École Marc-Favreau will be maintained throughout the construction period and a permanent path will be built on right-side of the property to allow students to access the school from the rear. A smaller sports field between the two schools will also be accessible by both student populations.
Daniel Hogue, Director of Material Resources at the EMSB, will manage the building project until its completion in June of 2018. Results from all impact studies are available to the public and can be accessed by contacting the borough of Côte-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grâce.
Michael J. Cohen