Girardin Centre, “important achievement” in 2021

MUNICIPAL. The opening of the Girardin Sports Center is one of the City of Drummondville’s major achievements in 2021. That’s what the CEO brought to his attention in his recent annual report.

Built at the intersection of rue Marchand and Pelletier, the new sports center opened its doors last September. In addition to the new 250-seat arena, the city’s first indoor polygonal synthetic field and hanging track have appeared. Football at age 7 or 9, baseball and running can now be played all year round.

“This is a significant achievement. This is the culmination of several years of planning, both for the arena and for the synthetic field. We’ve known since 2012 that Drummondville needed fourth ice and multi-sport synthetic turf. An indoor running track has been added along the way. While working on the project, we were told that the winter in terms of athletics was not easy. Together with professionals, we found a way to integrate the track and field track into the project,” says Drummondville CEO Francis Adam.

A track and field track with a length of about 250 meters was laid high along the perimeter of the multisport surface. (File photo – Ghislain Bergeron)

Note that the Girardin Sports Center required an investment totaling $21.7 million, including a $10.5 million contribution from the city. A $7.5 million grant comes from the Department of Education and Higher Education, and a $2.4 million amount from the Quebec Gas Tax Program and Contribution.

With regard to the provision of infrastructure services for sports and recreation, the CEO emphasizes the deployment of the second phase of the Rivia promenade. The new two-kilometer route connects the existing waterfront with the Frederic-Buck Pavilion, located at the entrance to Voltiger Park. The loop is also made on Manoir Trent. “It complements Stage 1 well and also provides a good basis for future investment in this sector,” comments Francis Adam.

The project, valued at $2.6 million, received a $1 million grant from the provincial government.

94% of actions completed or in progress
The strategic plan for 2017-2022 includes 52 actions. To date, 94% of them have already been completed, are in the process of completion or have minor deviations from completion.

“Even last year, COVID-19 had a major impact. It was necessary to constantly adapt to the rules, which changed depending on the development of the situation with the pandemic. For most services, municipal affairs continued to work at full speed. I would like to highlight the resilience and flexibility of our municipal services,” said Francis Adam.

Among the activities to be completed by the end of the year, the city notes, among other things, an analysis of the cabaret-style concert hall in collaboration with Maison des arts Desjardins Drummondville, a master plan for the protection of the environment, natural, wet and water sites, as well as reflections on re-qualification potential sites relating to the industrial, commercial and service sectors.

Of the 52 actions, three show serious gaps in implementation. This involves designing a citizens’ portal and integrating information and communication technologies into interdepartmental relations, as well as identifying opportunities for modernizing the organization’s activities in order to reduce the ecological footprint of the municipal organization.

“These are three actions on issues related to information technology. As an organization, we must improve our ability to integrate new technologies. This is where we have work that will allow us to create such projects,” says Mr. Adam.

Future projects
As the city of Drummondville’s very first strategic planning draws to a close this year, the city council and management team are embarking on the next exercise. Until April 24, citizens can express their point of view through an online consultation.

Francis Adam, General Manager of the City of Drummondville. (File photo – Ghislain Bergeron)

In particular, the municipal government wants to hear the opinion of the population on the importance of various aspects, including a sense of belonging, the environment, sports and recreation, land-use planning, immigration, economic development and tourism.

“We want to know their concerns, their expectations, what they like or don’t like about their city, to help the city council decide what will be prioritized,” said the City of Drummondville CEO.

Citizens will be invited to vote again in June. “This time we are going to ask them to comment on the projects that the elected municipal officials would like to implement, to find out which of the selected projects they would prioritize. We want citizens to be involved at the beginning and at the end of the process,” says Francis Adam.

A new strategic plan for 2023-2027 is expected this autumn. An action plan will also be drawn up.

Other achievements in 2021

  • Start of construction work at the new drinking water treatment plant
  • Record year for building permits
  • Pesticide ban
  • Collection of recyclable materials according to their intended purpose for the removal from the landfill of some bulky waste
  • Phase 2 Senieri Park
  • Launch of community participation platform
  • Line 311 launch