• John Jantak

New French secondary school for Vaudreuil-Dorion


PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

Preparatory plans are in the works for a new French secondary school to be built on vacant land near the intersection of Rue de Chenonceau and Rue de Clichy in the Harwood-de Lotbinière sector.

The City of Vaudreuil-Dorion has announced the start of preparatory work for the eventual construction of a new French-language secondary school slated to be built in the Harwood-de Lotbinière sector. The school will be located on undeveloped land near Rue de Chenonceau and Rue de Clichy.

The announcement comes one year after the provincial Ministry of Education gave its approval to study the project in June 2019 – the first-step towards actually building the new school which will provide 1,260 new classroom spaces for secondary school students in the Vaudreuil-Dorion area.

Project welcomed

“I’m very happy,” Mayor Guy Pilon told The Journal. “For the first time the provincial government is moving forward with a project ahead of the eventual demand but we don’t know yet when construction will begin.”

“Several elementary schools have been built in the city the past few years. This is a reality which can be explained by the city’s growth and its high birth rate,” said Pilon. “This generation is slowly moving into high school which is why we welcome this construction project so enthusiastically. Our population is still growing. We have a lot of newborns.”

High population growth

A new high school is a necessity for Vaudreuil-Dorion as the number of families with young children and newborns continues to increase. The attractiveness and dynamism of the city has resulted in significant population growth over the past 25 years. Its population has increased from 18,595 inhabitants in 1995 to 41,019 residents in 2020, partly due to a very high birth rate.

Moreover, if the trend continues, there will be another population increase by 2031 mainly in the Harwood-de Lotbinière sector which is why the city adopted its Programme particulier de d’urbanisme (PPU) in 2017 for the future revitalization of the district.

Harwood revitalization

“The choice of the school’s location in the Dorion sector also fits perfectly with our continuing drive to revitalize this sector which has been underway for a few years now,” said Pilon. The Commission Scolaire des Trois-Lacs announced in June its plans for the construction of a new adult education centre on the site of the former CLSC on Harwood Boulevard.

The area is well-suited to new construction projects especially since the central and northern parts of the city no longer have land available to build a new secondary school.

No plans for English secondary school

Mayor Pilon said there has been no indication from the Lester B. Pearson School Board (LBPSB) as to whether it intends to eventually build an English-language secondary school in the city. “So far there has been no request for a high school from the LBPSB. The only body that can approve a project like that is the province,” he said.

“When I met with representatives from the LBPSB a few years ago, they told me that even if we offered them 10 different parcels of land, they would need to get government approval first,” said Pilon.

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