Ottawa

Mont-Bleu students will move to Asticou Centre in December

Nearly 1,500 École secondaire Mont-Bleu students displaced by a fire last month will have a new home at the federal government complex later this year.

Relocation to 2nd Gatineau high school following fire has caused tensions

A sign outside École secondaire de l'Île welcomes the students from École secondaire Mont-Bleu, but having two high schools share one building hasn't been universally welcomed. (Julie-Anne Lapointe/Radio-Canada)

Nearly 1,500 students at École secondaire Mont-Bleu in Gatineau Que., will have a new home at the Asticou Centre in early December.

Their school was damaged during the tornadoes that tore through the capital region last month. It's believed lightning struck the school and caused a fire that took hours to extinguish.

The Mont-Bleu students are currently attending classes at l'École secondaire de l'Île, with the two schools' students sharing the building by effectively having their day split into two shifts.

The December relocation to the federal government complex would mark the end of that disruption, which has upset students at parents at de l'Île.

Some 1,500 École secondaire Mont-Bleu students were left without classrooms after their school caught fire during the Sept. 21, 2018, tornadoes. It's believed the school was hit by lightning. (Radio-Canada/Kim Vallière)

'Good news,' principal says

"I think it's going to be good news for our students and our employees, our teachers, because we'll be in our (own) environment and we'll be able to use all our equipment, all the school tools, to help our children to get through the year and get their diploma," Pierre Menard, principal at École secondaire Mont-Bleu, said in an interview Thursday.

The classes being held so far at École secondaire de l'Île have been going "well, under the circumstances," he added.

"It's not very easy, but all the students have adapted to the new environment and to the new schedule. And the teachers are very creative to help the children to get through the situation."

The move to Asticou Centre was first suggested as a possible solution last week

The federal government will have to relocate 600 Asticou Centre employees to other buildings, some of which would be part of the Gatineau complex.

Minor work must be done to the buildings before students arrive, including adding science labs and lockers. 

Greg McGillis, a regional executive vice-president with the Public Service Alliance of Canada, said while the union absolutely supports the government's attempt to find Mont-Bleu students a more permanent home, he does want to know more about the move.

"We need more information about exactly how that is going to work and how our members are going to be affected," he said.

"At this point we don't have enough details."

Greg McGillis of the Public Service Alliance of Canada says the union hasn't yet been told where 600 federal workers will go to make way for students of École secondaire Mont-Bleu. The school was badly damaged by fire caused by lightning. 0:27