Beaconsfield’s demolition committee is set to make its recommendation regarding a request by Batshaw Youth and Family Centres to tear down an aging building it owns on Elm. Ave. that currently houses the Portage Centre, a substance-abuse rehabilitation program for adolescents.
The advisory committee is expected to make its decision on whether to grant a demolition permit on March 13. This recommendation will be voted on by city council at a later date.
Batshaw plans to construct a $50-million building with nine residential units to house 108 kids at its Elm Ave. property. The open-unit facility will offer educational and recreational programs and provide therapy and anger management sessions, Batshaw officials have said. Batshaw still requires a construction permit before it can commence work, which it has requested regarding a portion of the project.
Mayor David Pollock said, while he agrees troubled anglophone youth under Batshaw’s care need a suitable residential facility so they can be reintegrated into society, he would have preferred it to be on a smaller scale and possibly in a different location. He added that he would also prefer a design that better fit the neighbourhood than the modern -looking glass structure presented to the city.
Councillor Rhonda Massad suggests before granting any permits, the city should require Batshaw to provide a written statement that it won’t operate closed-custody units.