Westmount Park Elementary School on target for August reopening
Students and staff hope to return to the historic Westmount Park Elementary School facility for the start of classes on August 31 for the 2021-22 academic year.
The 105-year-old facility at 15 Park Place has been closed for the last two academic years to complete a $20-million project of renovations and repairs. In the interim, students have been based at the former St. John Bosco Elementary School in Ville Émard (Westmount Park South Campus) and Marymount Academy International in NDG (Westmount Park North Campus).
Westmount Park Elementary School has a rich history with the original structure built in 1913, an addition in 1919 and another one in 1921.
The refurbished facility will have modern classrooms, including interactive SMART boards and some will be height adjustable for younger students and their teachers. There will also be flexible seating options, a variety of learning spaces, dedicated music and science rooms and the addition of an elevator and an exterior ramp to make the building more accessible to everyone.
In an effort to maintain some of the building’s heritage, the auditorium will be restored with all of its beautiful woodwork while bringing the sprinkler system and emergency exits within that space up to date. The paint will be refreshed, the benches repaired and new heating cabinets installed. This spot has been used in a number of motion pictures over the years.
In addition to benefiting from the English-Core program, students will also be able to benefit from energy stations that will be set up throughout the building. This will allow students to leave class for a movement and/or brain break when needed. Stations will include stationary bikes, rowing machines, and sensory paths.
As of this date work on the first three floors are nearly complete. “We remain hopeful that the extensive building renovations will be completed in time for the 2021-2022 academic year,” said Principal Marco Gagliardi.
There are still two possible scenarios at this time: students and staff move back into the building for the start of classes or students and staff move back in, with the contractor completing any remaining work on evenings and weekends.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has caused some delays, construction continues to proceed at a good pace. “Although we all hope for the first option, we cannot exclude the second,” said Mr. Gagliardi. “If this does happen rest assured that the students’ health and safety will remain a priority.”
The major renovations at Westmount Park include, but are not limited to, roof, interior finishes, accessibility (elevator), mechanical (plumbing, CVAC, sprinklers), electrical (wiring, lights, telecom, fire alarm system, etc.) and exterior (additional accessibility ramp, public utility works, drainage system and foundation waterproofing).
The EMSB will continue to provide frequent updates.
About the English Montreal School Board
With a youth and adult sector population of more than 37,000 students, the English Montreal School Board (EMSB) is the largest English public school board in Quebec. Established on July 1, 1998, when the province created new boards along linguistic lines, our network consists of 77 schools and centres. For more details, visit the EMSB website at www.emsb.qc.ca.