Vaudreuil-Soulanges MRC fêtes new facilities


PHOTO BY CARMEN MARIE FABIO

The amalgamation of offices, municipal court, and services under one roof at the new Municipalité régionale de comté Vaudreuil-Soulanges (MRC-VS) building on Harwood Boulevard will save money on rental costs over the long term.

Elected officials and invited guests were on hand Thursday, March 30 for a cinq-à-sept to officially inaugurate the new offices of the Municipalité régionale de comté Vaudreuil-Soulanges (MRC-VS) on Harwood Boulevard.

“Our accountant looked at the numbers and it just made more sense to have everything under the same roof instead of paying rent in different locales,” said Communications Director Simon Richard of the new $5.3 million structure near the corner of Chemin de Lotbinière. The structure houses the MRC offices, Municipal Court, and as of June 1, the Centre Locale de Développement (CLD) will be occupying the top floor of the three-storey building.

Built incorporating locally sourced Potsdam sandstone and recycled barnwood in the design elements, the architecture includes numerous floor-to-ceiling windows allowing for maximum natural light throughout the day. A corner office with two walls of windows serves as both a boardroom and the monthly meeting area of the mayors of the 23 towns that make up the MRC-VS, representing a population of just over 150,000.

“We’re the second-fastest growing riding in the entire country,” said Liberal Member of Parliament Peter Schiefke. While acknowledging the area’s history dating back to confederation, he said the move to the new spaces brings the riding into the 21st Century. “We’re growing with our community.”

Twenty-five MRC employees and 15 from the CLD share the building whose locale was chosen as part of the Harwood Boulevard revitalization project. Launched in 2012, the master plan is to convert Harwood into a pedestrian-friendly zone including expanded sidewalks, bicycle paths, and the creation and rejuvenation of existing parkland.

“We would have liked to have a ‘green’ roof,” said Richard, “but it wasn’t in the budget.” The roof, however, is painted white to help deflect summer air conditioning costs.

The staff used the Christmas holiday break to move from the former location on Saint-Charles Boulevard with no interruption in services.

Rigaud Mayor Hans Gruenwald Jr. applauded the decision to build, rather than rent separate locations, citing the time and financial savings. “Every time you have to travel (between offices) it’s not very environmental or efficient.”

“It’s a very functional, governmental type of building which is effective for its purposes,” said Hudson Mayor Ed Prévost. “But the more important part is the people who make this function. The people at the MRC all really get along with each other very well and that makes things easier, no matter where you work.”

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