As of last week, it’s still not much more than an empty parking lot, but if CDN-NDG Borough Mayor Sue Montgomery gets her way, the inner-city lot is bound to become one of the newest primary schools on the island. Following a decade full of frenetic real estate development in the borough’s so-called Triangle district, Montgomery said, “We’ve been hearing over and over again that there are just no schools in the district.So we knew we had to do something about it.”
Following three years of detailed negotiations with its owners, the city agreed to buy both the land and the building – a car park located at 5010 Paré St. — for some $9.1 million.
Aside from the fact that the district was already known for its “mixed-use’”zoning , it’s been more than a decade since local developers first began to talk to the borough about their plans for the district. As The Suburban attended most, if not all of the borough’s assorted press conferences, about yet another Triangle development, this is the first time anybody — including the borough’s three former mayors — mentioned anything about the new community’s urgent need for a new local school. As the entire district – including both the Triangle and the new Royalmount project – continues to be described as one of city’s new “transit oriented” developments, Montgomery said she still can’t understand why there was never any mention about the need for new schools, daycare facilities, grocery stores, and assorted community facilities in the immediate district.
“At this point, we’re trying to improve ... the quality of life for the people who are living there,” said Montgomery.
According to recent borough figures, some 275 children under four live in the district for whom both French and English-speaking school boards will have to find classrooms for, in addition to another 260 primary school age children who live in the area. The numbers also indicate that 375 high school students live in the district.