HEC Business School recently announced its plans for a $183 million pavilion in Downtown Montreal, which will transform the area around St Patrick’s Basilica.
On Thursday the complex received the green light from the city, as well as a starting $94 million of funding. It will house MBA, graduate and executive-training programs, and will be used by an estimated 1,600 people daily upon its completion in August 2021.
The project has already generated some controversy among local residents, since it will remove a rare patch of downtown green space, and the foundations of a social welfare home which was demolished in the 1970’s.
Proponents say the new pavilion will benefit HEC’s student body, which needs a downtown facility closer to Montreal’s business centre.
The green space in question has been used as a park for nearby residents in recent years, but is owned by St Patrick’s Church and was recently sold to HEC for an undisclosed sum.
When asked to comment on the HEC complex, the policy director of Heritage Montreal referred to a deal signed last month with Université du Québec à Montréal, as a model for creating public spaces around St. Patrick’s. The 25-year agreement aims to revitalize several outdoor areas on the university’s downtown campus, which will be maintained by the school but accessible to the public.
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