The Maison des Jeunes in L’Orignal has been declared unfit for human occupancy, following an inspection which took place on September 17, 2018, council learned at its most recent regular meeting on October 9.

The short-term plan is to lease an office trailer and benches for the season so that there are change-room facilities for skaters. Rubber mats will be purchased for the trailer and for the outdoor stairs.

“Are we going to lock all the doors or are we tearing it down?” asked L’Orignal councillor Marc Séguin.

Champlain Township Mayor Gary Barton said that council was perhaps not in a position to decide, keeping in mind that a community centre was needed in L’Orignal.

L’Orignal councillor Jacques Lacelle said there was no need to purchase rubber mats as there were already some.

West Hawkesbury councillor Gerry Miner said that he presumed arrangements were being made to board up the building.

Vankleek Hill councillor Paul Emile Duval suggested tearing the building down, adding that it could likely come down in four hours.

“Why are we trying to board it up?” Duval asked.

Barton suggested that council might not be prepared to make that decision in 15 minutes.

“I saw the report. It’s rotten and not useable at all,” he said, referring to the building.

Longueuil councillor Helen MacLeod suggested that it could possibly be used for a fishing hut.

Mayor Barton cut off the discussion and said that long-range planning was needed.

“I know it’s election-time, but I’m getting fed up with silly season. It’s fine to say tear it down, but I think you need to think about what you’re doing,”  Barton said impatiently.

Longueuil councillor Normand Riopel asked about the size of the building, asking if there was room for the rental trailer.

“If there’s no room, or if it’s in the way, tear it down,” Riopel said.

“I think we should bring this up at the next meeting,” said Duval.

“If she (Champlain Recreation and Parks Director Lisa Burroughs) has room for it, then I’m okay with that,” Riopel said.

The Lascelles Engineering & Associations Limited inspection report recommends that further investigation of the foundation is needed and that reinforcement and restoration of the foundation and replacement of all deteriorated joists is needed, as well as replacement of deteriorated wall elements, in addition to other improvements, such as the installation of a moisture barrier in some places. Moisture infiltration and settling of the building have led to problems, according to the report.