Demolition considered for Gatineau school damaged in storm

Demolition is among the options under consideration for a Gatineau high school severely damaged during the same storm that saw several tornadoes touch down across the region, according to documents obtained by Radio-Canada.

Lightning sparked a fire at École secondaire Mont-Bleu on Sept. 21, causing heavy damage and displacing 1,500 students. They're now taking classes on a split schedule with students at École secondaire de l'Île.

On Dec. 3, the Mont-Bleu students will move once again, this time to the Asticou Centre, a federal government complex that's much closer to their damaged school.

A working document obtained by Radio-Canada lays out four options to be considered by the school board and province:

  • Rebuild École secondaire Mont-Bleu to hold all the displaced students.
  • Demolish Mont-Bleu school and acquire the Asticou Centre to hold all the displaced students.
  • Demolish Mont-Bleu school, acquire the Asticou Centre to hold approximately 1,000 students and boost capacity of a planned school in the Plateau neighbourhood from 800 to 1,400 students to hold the rest.
  • Rebuild a smaller Mont-Bleu school to hold approximately 1,000 students and boost capacity of the Plateau school to hold the rest.

According to the document, any plan to rebuild Mont-Bleu would need to address the risk of asbestos, mould and lead contamination.

Kim Vallière/Radio-Canada

Final report soon

The report is expected to be finished and delivered to officials at the board and province within two weeks.

The head of the school board, the Commission scolaire des Portages-de-l'Outaouais (CPSO), said plans for the Plateau school, which is due to be built by 2021, have not changed.

The school board has asked the federal government about the possibility of staying at the Asticou Centre beyond this school year, and said it's waiting for a response.