Due to the lack of sufficient and suitable sports facilities, the students of the Mont-de-la-Salle High School are forced to conduct physical education classes in the old school chapel and other facilities that are in no way adapted to this need.
Young people are also limited in the sports they can play due to the fragility of some of the elements found in these places.
Over the past two years, the Center for Scientific Services (CSS) de Laval, as part of the educational component of the Quebec Infrastructure Plan (PQI), has presented a project to renovate existing facilities to address this issue. However, he was not accepted.
“[Une] The request was originally submitted as part of PQI 2021-2031 and was repeated last October, says Yves Michel Wolcy, CEO of CSS de Laval. This project is also a priority for our school service center under ministerial authority.
Steps were taken by members of the Laval community to get things off the ground. A petition submitted to the National Assembly was signed by 1,064 people, and members of the parents’ committee filmed a commercial.
“My daughter is not really the most athletic in the world, so we want the environment to encourage you to move more,” says Anne-Marie Morel, the initiator of the petition. […] There are a few young people who want to do more extra-curricular sports, but there is a certain limitation due to lack of space.
Ms. Morel adds that some of them are speechless when faced with teams from other schools that “have a real gym just the right size for a high school.”
“The project is intended for the school. This is indeed a very big need. Classes often take place in places that are not at all suitable for our children, since the gymnasium is the equivalent of an elementary school.
– Anne-Marie Morel, mother of a student of the 1st high school
These same students also tried to move things forward. The student parliament of the Laval-des-Rapides institution voted in favor of the proposal to take part in the case and express their interest in obtaining the right to new premises.
“The pressure and mobilization of young people, parents and stakeholders in the sector continues,” said Saul Polo County MP involved in the case. […] Today, the question is no longer whether the project is a priority, but in making a decision.
In addition to existing facilities and an outdoor courtyard that can be used in good weather, École Mont-de-La Salle students have access to the facilities of the Josée-Faucher sports centre.
However, CSS de Laval wants to build a brand new center worth over $30 million. This proposal, submitted to the Ministry of Education, could potentially include a gateway connecting the center to the school to provide direct access to students.
The planned extension will be 4400 m.2, in addition to allowing the addition of five new quality sports facilities and changing rooms. The center could also be made accessible to the public, as the lack of sports facilities in this sector extends to the entire community.
“Together with our request to add sports facilities […]we also made an additional funding request in December 2021,” says Volsey. […] This aims to add an indoor multifunctional outdoor sports field, which will thus improve the school’s ability to play sports.
Like the original project, this $4 million request has been identified as a priority by the school organization. For his part, Saul Polo believes it’s even more important to act quickly on this matter as a $230 million state-of-the-art school will soon be completed in the same sector.
“Building a school will reduce student pressure but create two classes: the lucky ones in the new school and the less fortunate ones in Mont-de-la-Salle. This project could serve the community in a disadvantaged area. This is not a luxury that is asked for.
The Mont-de-la-Salle school community and CSS Laval repeatedly approached the Ministry of Education last year, trying to convince them of the need for this project.
Mr Wolsi also believes that Jean-Francois Roberge, Minister of Education, and Benoît Charette, Minister Delegate for the Laval Region, were sensitive to the information provided during the meeting on 24 January.
“Elected provincial officials have demonstrated that they are aware of the lack of sports facilities at the school and understand that this is a priority for our organization and society,” he adds. We have received a good response, which gives us hope that we will soon receive a positive response to our funding requests in order to meet the great needs of Mont de la Salle.”
“Benoît Charette and I are very actively working on the sports infrastructure file,” confirms Christopher Skeet, spokesman for the province of Sainte-Rose. I have school-age children, Minister Sharett also, so we understand very well that young people need adequate sports infrastructure to play sports.
We note that Mr. Wolsey insisted on emphasizing the successes achieved in the past. He cites previous investments that have helped the institution “beyond sports infrastructure.” This includes $3.55 million in renovations that were completed in 2021 and $10 million planned for the upcoming renovation of the Mont-de-la-Salle school’s main building.
“There is hope that announcements will be made on the sports complex in the near future. All hopes are resolved and it is clear that the announcement must be made soon so that work can begin. If this is not the case, we will definitely express our disappointment with this file,” concludes Anne-Marie Morel.