• Jules-Pierre Malartre

Rigaud breaks ground on new town hall project


PHOTO BY JULES-PIERRE MALARTRE

Councillors Archie Martin and Danny Lalonde, Mayor Hans Gruenwald Jr., and councillors André Boucher and Édith de Haerne at the site of Rigaud’s future town hall.

The town of Rigaud held a ground-breaking ceremony September 13 to celebrate the first day of construction works for the upcoming new town hall scheduled to open in the fall of 2017. The event took place in Parc Desjardins near the actual site of the new town hall on rue Saint-Viateur. Mayor Hans Gruenwald Jr., city councillors, a number of other city officials and representatives from the architectural firm and construction company were in attendance.

Mayor Gruenwald Jr. said a few words before pushing the first ceremonial shovel into the ground. "I am happy that this project is finally being realized. Residents will enjoy easier access to city services with a town hall closer to the downtown area. It was important for us to revitalize our downtown area at the same time."

The project started in 2009 following a public consultation within the framework of Rigaud's development plan. Gruenwald called the project a "…major inescapable investment with long-term benefits for residents as well as for various organizations in Rigaud."

"We wanted the town hall to have an impact," Gruenwald commented after the event. He mentioned that the architects of Affleck de la Riva spent some time in Rigaud to explore the various architectural landmarks of the town. "They looked at the church, Bourget College, and other institutions and larger buildings and that inspired them for the design."

Gavin Affleck of Architectural firm Affleck de la Riva took a few minutes to explain the philosophy behind the creation of the new town hall, its location and overall design.

"This was a collaborative process with (the town of Rigaud). It is a very simple, rectangular building that will be facing rue St-Viateur. It will connect to Park Desjardins." The building will bring together the various town services, including a council meeting room and a multipurpose room that the various organizations in Rigaud will be able to use for their activities.

Affleck reflected on the symbolism of the choice of white as the color of the building. "It's the image of a small temple, with white representing the color of democracy. A town hall is a symbol of the community, of pride, of the capacity of making decisions together. For us, this is how we approached it with the city, the mayor and the citizens committee," Affleck added.

Gruenwald proceeded to introduce the attending representatives of Construction Cogela. "I am impressed. It's a good start," Gruenwald said on the work already in progress. "From what I can see, at the speed you're going, it's going very well. I had no idea you could finish this up before winter," Gruenwald joked in closing to general laughter and applause.

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