Sat. Mar 2nd, 2024

Students from C&eac;gep de l’Outaouais in Asticou Center next year

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The federal government plans to dispose of the Asticou Center by the end of 2026.< /p>

  • Rosalie Sinclair (View profile)Rosalie Sinclair

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After students from Mont-Bleu secondary school, the Asticou Center will soon welcome students from Cégep de l’Outaouais. The establishment wishes to rent the building belonging to the federal government to compensate for the lack of space and the implementation of new study programs.

A 3-year rental lease is about to be signed, indicates the general director of the CEGEP, Steve Brabant.

The two new social work and leisure management and intervention programs which will be launched next fall will therefore be temporarily established at the Asticou Center while awaiting the construction and delivery [of] the 4th floor to the Félix-Leclerc campus.

The general director therefore intends to work hard to carry out this expansion. The Gabrielle-Roy campus will be expanded for the start of the 2026 school year (New window) in order to accommodate more computer science and radiodiagnostics students.

Two other existing programs could also be added to the Asticou Center during the lease to allow expansion work.

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The Cégep de l'Outaouais is currently filled to maximum capacity and in 2032 , it could accommodate 1,500 more students, according to forecasts from the Ministry of Higher Education of Quebec (MESQ).

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Steve Brabant is the general director of Cégep de l'Outaouais.

The Asticou Center is on the one hand one of the only buildings available whose rooms meet the functions we are looking for, that is to say that it is an old multipurpose building.

A quote from Steve Brabant, general director of Cégep de l'Outaouais

The Cégep would have access to 32 classes and in total, around 200 students could have classes at the Asticou Center.< /p>

There are still many elements to plan to ensure a successful start to the school year, including modalities, particularly educational and technical. For example, taking charge of the entire computer network, the layout of classrooms, the furniture, the adaptation of certain spaces also to meet our needs, explains Mr. Brabant.

He claims that the MESQ would finance the temporary relocation.

By email, the ministry confirms having been informed of the space needs expressed by the Cégep and is working with the latter on different solutions, without however mentioning the Asticou Center.

The office of the Minister of Higher Education Pascale Déry adds that as the solution has not yet been confirmed, we are not able to comment on a possible cost or a possible financial participation.

The president of the Cégep de l'Outaouais teachers' union is concerned about the temporary relocation of certain programs.

Technical courses will be given at Asticou, but everything that is general education, French, physical education, English or philosophy [for example], will probably be given at the Gabrielle-Roy campus which is [near] two kilometers away, believes Christian Bernier.

He questions the logistics of the project.

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Christian Bernier is the president of the teachers' union at Cégep de l'Outaouais.

Will there be shuttles planned? Many students have vehicles, but not all. There are buses that pass there, but are the routes or schedules working well? It raises questions.

A quote from Christian Bernier, president of the teachers' union at Cégep de l'Outaouais

We have students with special needs who benefit Services. These services are installed on campuses, so there are well-established professionals and support staff. Are there going to be people permanently [at the Asticou Center] to provide these services?, continues the president of the union.

Mr. Bernier believes that the use of the Asticou Center is attributable to a lack of long-term planning.

We lack a bit of cohesion and long-term perspective in the way we think about the development of higher education in Outaouais. We have a shortage of higher education programs. What is added is always piecemeal, one or two programs here and there, while we are missing almost forty in the region, he explains. It would take a plan with a lot of scope and more thought out in the long term to have less need to move people to bring them back.

The federal government plans sell the Asticou Center located in the Hull sector of Gatineau by the end of 2026.

The general director of Cégep de l'Outaouais says he is developing an opportunity file to recommend to the Quebec government to acquire it and convert it into a multifunctional campus to absorb the demographic increase of Cégep de l'Outaouais and to meet the critical housing needs in our region.

Public Service and Procurement Canada (PSPC) did not respond to our request interview.

With information from Laurie Trudel

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