On Thursday afternoon the City of Montreal along with the Borough of Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve announced that that would would be injecting funds into the new Montreal Impact training facility at the former Letourneux fire station.
The funds will go towards restoring the tower of the former fire station. The Impact announced plans for the new training facility at the end of the 2014 MLS season. The Impact had been using the training facility during the 2015 MLS campaign and even shared it with Chelsea FC in July as the English Premier League Champions used the site for their pre-season training hub.
When the new facility is finally complete it will be one of the top training facilities in Canada.
The following is a press release from the City of Montreal:
MONTRÉAL AWARDS $350,000 IN SUPPORT FOR RESTORATION WORK OF THE FORMER LETOURNEUX FIRE STATION TOWER
Montréal, February 25, 2016 - Montréal Mayor Denis Coderre, and Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve Borough Mayor Réal Ménard, are pleased to announce the city's $350,000 contribution of financial support to the NPO of the Montréal Impact Academy. These funds will assist in restoration of the former Letourneux fire station's tower at 4300, rue Notre-Dame Est.
Following the NPO's purchase of the building in early 2015, it was found that renovating the tower would cost more than planned. The steel structure was seriously corroded, as confirmed by professional evaluators.
"Our support for restoration of the old Letourneux firehouse, mentioned in the Urban Plan for its heritage and architectural value, is in line with multiple projects aimed at protecting and highlighting our heritage, such as the Saint-Sulpice Library, the Grand Costumier and the Wellington Tower. We are proud to help give a new life to this architecturally important heritage structure that should be preserved and displayed. I warmly thank and congratulate the Montréal Impact for making huge contributions to improving the quality of life of Montrealers and to enhancing Montréal's reputation through their team's successes," Montréal's Mayor noted.
"I want to thank Mayor Coderre for this financial help. Thank you also to the Mayor of the Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve Borough, Réal Ménard, who has supported us through every step in this unique project," said the president of the Montréal Impact, Joey Saputo. "Since the beginning, conservation and respect for heritage were very important factors for us. Our intentions were to build one of the most beautiful soccer training centres in North America, but we also wanted the transformation of the fire station to be an example, not only for soccer but also for any project that can save our heritage. With cooperation, flexibility and good will, we can protect our history and build our future together."
The cost of preserving and renovating the former fire station's tower is estimated at $1.1 M. The NPO will assume full financial responsibility for completing this project with the city's financial assistance. The tower restoration work is part of the entire building restoration, estimated at $1.3 M, for a total of $2.4 M.
"The old Letourneux firehouse, built by the former city of Maisonneuve, reminds us of how this municipality expanded in the late 19th and early 20th centuries along with other buildings in the neighbourhood, such as the Denise-Pelletier Theatre, the Maisonneuve Market and the Maisonneuve Baths. Preservation of this important structure will allow the Montréal Impact to pursue its sports and community activities and provide young soccer players from the borough and all of eastern Montréal with state-of-the-art facilities at the future Impact training centre," added Mr. Ménard.
Let us note that the Montréal Impact Academy is buying this building as part of a partnership with the Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve borough, for using the sports fields and the Champêtre welcome station by the former firehouse. This structure's transformation will make it the permanent training centre of the Montréal Impact and its Academy. Two new illuminated, synthetic soccer fields with stands will be built for the use of the borough, the Impact Academy and its soccer schools. The project cost, including that of restoring the old firehouse, transforming the welcome station and construction of the four soccer fields, is estimated at $16 M and will be paid by the Montréal Impact Academy.