December 3, 2021

The Queens County Citizen

Complete Canadian News World

Restoration of schools in Montreal | 5,000 students will be evacuated

Restoration of schools in Montreal |  5,000 students will be evacuated

One in fifteen students will have to change schools in the next three years due to renovations at CSSDM establishments. Two schools will be built to accommodate expatriate students. The CSSDM budget, which ended with an accounting deficit of 57 million for the year 2020-2021, is high on the dilapidation of Montreal schools.


Mary-Eve Morasse

Mary-Eve Morasse
Press

Louis Ledac

Louis Ledac
Press

Nearly fifteen schools were vacated for construction sites in three years

Renovation work at Montreal schools will require 5,000 students to change schools over the next three years. For the first time, the Montreal School Service Center (CSSDM) will also build exactly two schools to accommodate students during construction sites.

Photo by Karen-Isabelle Jean-Baptiste, special contribution

Saint-Emile School, in the Rosemont District

In three years, some fifteen schools – primarily primary – will see their students move. About 1 in 15 students will be displaced at the 75,000-strong service center. “That’s a lot of students,” observes Matthew Desjardins, the school’s service director at CSSDM.

There are many environments where things happen. By the next school year, for example, students from Saint-Emile School in Rosemont will be transferred to the planned period of one year. In Côte-des-Neiges, the International School of Montreal will be the subject of a “major repair work” over three years, with 465 students from the Ahuntsic school in the district of the same name having to do so. Next year.

Photo by Karen-Isabelle Jean-Baptiste, special contribution

International School of Montreal in the Cte ​​d’Ivoire district

The CSSDM came to a conclusion: restoring schools filled with students and teachers was far from ideal. Go for window changes or roof repairs in the summer, but as soon as the work gets harder, it becomes more complicated.

Furthermore, Bruno Marchand, director of the Material Resources Department, said it was not uncommon for work costs to rise by 40% in occupied schools.

“Transitional” schools during work

It is for this reason that so-called “transitory” schools are multiplying, the spaces used to hold students when their home school is being restored. There are currently 14 nationwide, and soon there will be 17.

Under a “set up” with the Ministry of Education, CSSDM will build two new transitional schools in the coming years in the Mary-Anne High Schools, Ahamsik and Margaret-de Lazemmeris, Rosemont District.

“They are new schools, everything is beautiful”, which has a first life as a transitional school, and then a second to accommodate students from areas where existing schools are inadequate, explains Matthew Deszardins, CSSDM.

Most often, transition schools are located in buildings previously rented to community organizations. “Fortunately, in the past, we decided to keep these old buildings. That fact must be taken into account. ”

Photo by Karen-Isabelle Jean-Baptiste, special contribution

2570, Rue Nicolette, in Hochelaga-Mysannyou

An example is the building at 2570 in Ru Nicolette in Hochelaga-Maisonnew. It will eventually accommodate L’Étincelle elementary school students during work that will begin in two years.

Whether it is a new building or an old renovated building, each conversion is estimated to cost the school about $ 30 million.

Impact on families and teachers

Changing schools has no consequences, the Alliance des reminds professors and professors de Montreal. “It will have moving equipment, but there will also be a reorganization. In the case of elementary school, we need to rethink the break and think about where to dine,” explains union president Catherine Beauveis-Saint-Pierre.

Mark-Etienne Deslariers, chairman of the Montreal Schools Parents’ Committee, suggested that the move was sometimes less welcome.

When transitional buildings are within walking distance, living is easier. When it is eradicated, there are places where it is less likely to happen because we have to go on school transport or public transport every day.

Mark-Etienne D’Soulariers, President of the Montreal Schools Parents’ Committee

He said the service center was responsible for transporting elementary students from one school to another, but not those coming from secondary schools.

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Not enough investment

By 2030, Quebec aims to restore unsatisfactory buildings to “satisfactory” condition. In CSSDM, the average age of schools is 72, and 191 buildings (out of 268) are considered to be in very poor condition.

CSSDM’s asset management budget this year is $ 173 million, “but the order is $ 350 million higher,” the service center notes.

“The first 110 million we received will be used to maintain infrastructure. If they are in poor condition, we will keep them worse. It’s very easy,” Bruno Marchand said bluntly, describing the Quebec goal as “ambitious”.

He continues his calculation: If we want to improve the condition of schools this year, there are about 50 or 60 million left. The cost of about two schools, Marchchand said.

Mark-Etienne D’Soulier, of the Montreal Schools Parents’ Committee, noted that the CSSDM school operating deficit was $ 1.6 billion, which means that at any given time, an emergency can disrupt well-planned situations.

He cited the example of Sophie-Barat High School in the Ahuntsic district, where some students were urgently moved several kilometers away from their homes last year because the school area was in danger of collapsing.

“It left me with a bad example to tell students what happens when you have to do homework at school,” Mr said. Said the Deslariers. Regular students at the local school are now in the pre-primary school.

“Management deficit means that even though we can plan everything, it takes a small error to bring everyone back to the state of emergency,” Mark-Etienne Deslariers concluded.

Contact the list of relevant schools

57 million accounting deficit at CSSDM

The Montreal School Service Center (CSSDM) will end its 2020-2021 financial year with an accounting deficit of 57 million, but this actually shows an adjusted net surplus of 2.8 million out of a total budget of 1.258 billion. This is because the expected subsidies linked to the pay rise and legal equity payments granted by the Legalt government will soon come to clean up the slate.

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More than the pandemic, it’s costing CSSDM a lot in the ruins of its schools. On paper, the asset management deficit was $ 1.6 billion.

Photo by Karen-Isabelle Jean-Baptiste, special contribution

CSSDM Schools Property Management Deficit 1.6 billion.

This translates into costly reconstructions and major maintenance work.

Expenditure on real estate assets management, management deficit elimination, as well as repair and transformation work was over 251.3 million in 2020-2021 compared to 230.1 million in 2019-2020.

In the wake of the pandemic this financial year, CSSDM has outpaced the general cost of information technology (many computers were purchased during the pandemic).

Investments in the information technology sector were 22.2 million in 2020-2021, compared to 7.7 million in 2019-2020.

COVID-19, which caused a lot of expense for CSSDM and other school service centers, ultimately did not have the initially feared effect. The financial impact of COVID-19 for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021 was estimated at 41.5 million, while CSSDM received 65.4 million in financial assistance from the Ministry of Education, for a total of 41.5 million. Cover all the economic effects of the year and cover the total of 23 million for the effects of the previous year’s pandemic ”, we can read.

“Continuous and hard work”

When wages are raised and subsidies for equity are received, the cumulative deficit – which stood at $ 99 million before this fiscal year – does not increase further, testifying to this, the Department of Financial Resources writes, “a sustained and rigorous effort to manage the company’s public funds.

For the 2019-2020 fiscal year, the adjusted net deficit was $ 0.3 million.

CSSDM did not provide further comments on performance this year.

The school service center – the largest in Quebec – was placed under the supervision of the Quebec government in June in the wake of the governance crisis that shook it. Eight of the fifteen members of the Board of Directors resigned during their mandate, so that the organization has no quorum for meetings and decision making. As a result, four board meetings between April and June had to be canceled.

From June 16, 2021, Jean-Franకోois Lachans will be appointed tutor and will replace the Board of Directors meetings until further notice by the Tutorship Administrator meetings.