• John Jantak

New French elementary school under construction in St. Lazare


PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

Lucie Charlebois, provincial MNA for Vaudreuil-Soulanges and Minister for Rehabilitation,

Youth Protection and Public Health (left); Mayor Robert Grimaudo; and Francine St-Denis,

President of the Commission scolaire des Trois-Lacs; participate in a sod turning ceremony for

the construction of a new French elementary school in St. Lazare on Monday, March 16.

Provincial, municipal and school board officials turned the sod to officially launch the construction of a new French elementary school in St. Lazare on Monday, March 16. Lucie Charlebois, provincial MNA for Vaudreuil-Soulanges and Minister for Rehabilitation, Youth Protection and Public Health; Francine St-Denis, President of the Commission scolaire des Trois-Lacs; and Mayor Robert Grimaudo participated in the sod turning ceremony following a press conference to announce details of the new school.

The two-storey facility will have 21 classrooms, accommodate 500 students, and cost just over $11.2 million dollars to build. The government will fund $10.2 million of the total cost through provincial subsidies as part of its 10-year infrastructure plan to allocate more spaces and schools throughout the province for general education. The school will be completed by August 2016.

Charlebois, who attended the event on behalf of François Blais, Minister of Education, Higher Education and Research and Minister responsible for Recreation and Sport, said the primary school is a much needed addition to the region which lacks adequate classroom space to house all its students.

“There are a lot of St. Lazare children that have to go outside the town to school because there are not enough facilities to accommodate them,” Charlebois told Your Local Journal after the sod turning ceremony. She said the new school is vital for the Vaudreuil-Soulanges region which has experienced rapid population growth in the last 10 years.

The region’s population is currently about 140,000 people. “We need places for young families to establish their roots,” said Charlebois.

“There are a lot of families with children that move to Vaudreuil- Soulanges and we need to build new schools. It’s a partnership between the school board, the town and the government. It’s important because nothing can be done without everyone’s cooperation.

“If we don’t have the teamwork then we can’t achieve these results.” Charlebois added. “I’m also very pleased because it shows the economic vitality of the region. A new school also shows that more people are moving into the region.”

Mayor Grimaudo welcomed the news, saying that the school will help to make up for the shortage of classroom space in the town.

“It’s a great announcement and a great day,” said Grimaudo. “The demographics in St. Lazare show that we need a new school. A lot of students are currently studying outside of St. Lazare and this will school will benefit our community.”

The school is being built in a new residential housing project zone tentatively called the Projet des jardins that will feature 380 new affordable housing units for first-time homebuyers near the northwest intersection of Chemin Ste. Angélique and Boulevard Cité des Jeunes.

“This area is going to be an integrated project with affordable housing,” said Grimaudo. “First time homebuyers will move here and there will be a school and a park right in the middle of the project. It’s perfect.

This is the way urban planning should be done. It also shows an incredible amount of cooperation between the different levels of government, school board and contractors.”

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