N.D.G. sports centre goes up for bids
Residents worry of shrinking Benny Park
Benny Park and its surroundings in Notre Dame de Grâce are about to become a construction zone.
The borough of Côte des Neiges–N.D.G. launched a call for bids last week to build an estimated $15-million sports and community centre in Benny Park on Monkland Ave. between Benny Ave. and Cavendish Blvd., borough mayor Michael Applebaum said yesterday.
Meanwhile, a provincial agency already has a call for bids under way to construct a building across the street, at Monkland and Cavendish, to relocate N.D.G.’s CLSC.
The call for bids for the CLSC closes on Tuesday, an online gover nment publictender database shows. The estimated cost is listed at about $13 million.
The sports centre, the location of which was switched from a lot across the street in the Benny Farm complex in 2007, entails the demolition of the park’s existing outdoor pool and chalet.
Demolition will go ahead as soon as the weather warms up, Applebaum said.
The project, which will include a six-lane, 25-metre long indoor pool, was modified to meet the community’s needs, he said. For instance, an outdoor wading pool has been added as has a shallow indoor pool for exercise classes.
Meanwhile, the borough recently presented plans to the city for a $16-million, 40,000square-foot library at the southwest cor ner of Benny and Monkland, where the sports centre was initially planned, Applebaum said. The borough looked at how libraries are being built in other cities to develop its plans.
“This will be a library that has never been seen in the city of Montreal,” he said, adding he hopes to announce the project before summer.
“This will be a first-class library that meets the needs of our community for many many years down the road.”
But a group of residents says that while they support construction of a sports centre and a library, they’re upset about the locations and what they contend has been a faulty consultation process.
For instance, the borough rezoned the park, and not just the site where the centre is to be built. That leaves the park an open target for further development, N.D.G. resident Raj Ramtuhol said. He said the wading pool will eat up more park space.
As well, the latest project plans aren’t available, he said.
He and other members of a group that created savebennypark.org have launched a petition to try to get the sports centre moved back to the Benny Farm complex.
Construction of the sports centre is to start in May or June, before this fall’s municipal election campaign. The centre is scheduled to open in December 2010.