$23M for new Mackay Centre building a worthwhile investment: parents
A $23-million investment in the Mackay Centre’s new building is well worth the money, say parents, who gushed about the school’s programs and staff Monday.
The school, which serves English students with disabilities, will be moving to a new building to be built on Terrebonne St. in NDG in time for the 2018-2019 school year.
Its current space on Decarie Blvd. is more than 50 years old, and is not only dated, but is too small to meet their needs.
The new school will be equipped with a larger pool and larger, more modern classrooms.
“It is a question of improving what we already have, which is going to be a great benefit to the English community,” said English Montreal School Board Chair Angela Mancini.
Renovating has been in talks for years, but ultimately, the school board felt a new building would be the best option.
The new school will be built on a piece of land on Terrebonne near Madison Ave. The school plans to continue the tradition of helping disabled children from all over the province by offering a broad range of activities. Its mandate will be to help even more children as they continue a tradition of excellence.
Kathy Nakashima couldn't contain her emotion when talking about the Mackay Centre.
“It gives a lot of hope to parents,” said Nakashima, whose son Justin used to attend the school. She spoke volumes about the programs, especially the staff.
“The teachers work around the clock and so does the administration to make sure that these kids feel not only that they are getting a good education, but that they are loved, they are treated like they are normal people, which is a big gift for someone with disabilities,” she said.
Parent Joanna Charron was also emotional when speaking about how the school taught her eight-year-old son to speak through the assistance of a computer.
“They sent him home with this device and I hooked him up and he started using his head -- because he couldn't use his hands -- frantically using his head to bang on switches and the first thing I ever heard him say was, ‘I love you, Mom.”