Student residences as a blessed gift in Shawinigan

It is the Philibert family, father and son, who are behind the project presented Friday afternoon to the media and a few dignitaries. Owner of the Résidence Grand-Mère, an RPA of 108 units, Dr. Jean-Claude Philibert was looking for a retirement project, we joke.

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The place still displays signs of its past vocation. (Sylvain Mayer/Le Nouvelliste)

A network between stakeholders in the community, the support of Mayor Michel Angers and MPs Marie-Louise Tardif and François-Philippe Champagne, the identification of an urgent need for the community, some two million dollars in private investment, the Cégep de Shawinigan can consider new prospects for growth, we are delighted.

The place currently smells of fresh plaster and still damp paint. Around thirty rooms are already ready to welcome future occupants. We are talking about the first tenants moving in next month, while a window opens for the arrival of new cohorts of foreign students. Even the expertise of SANA in Shawinigan was called upon.

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The rooms are furnished, but the student can also move in with their own furniture. (Sylvain Mayer/Le Nouvelliste)

The price of the apartments will vary from $380, for the most modest units, to just over $900 for the more spacious rooms, with several windows and a private bathroom. Some spaces will allow double occupancy, being able to accommodate a couple or friends.

As if enthusiasm had no limit, we are already talking about a phase 2, a phase 3, and a few dozen more rooms.

Shawinigan, the pearl

It is a patriotic Jean-Claude Philibert who loves his part of the country who explains the genesis of the new apartments and who sings the praises of the next generation.

“We have a great generation coming, who are redeveloping the dynamism of the city, and Shawinigan has a very bright future… We are a pearl that has been forgotten, but when people discover it, At that moment you will see, it will be the pearl that is the jewel of Quebec!”

— Dr. Jean-Claude Philibert, owner of the new student residences in Shawinigan

>>>Dr. Jean-Claude Philibert jokes that he was looking for a retirement plan, under the amused eye of his son Jean-René.>>>

Dr. Jean-Claude Philibert jokes that he was looking for a retirement plan, under the amused eye of his son Jean-René. (Sylvain Mayer/Le Nouvelliste)

The moods were also radiant on the side of the general staff of the Cégep de Shawinigan, who have perhaps just got rid of a major thorn in their side. “We were one of the rare CEGEPs in Quebec that did not have student residences,” explains the general director of the establishment Jean-François Léveillé.

The Cégep de Shawinigan currently welcomes 170 foreign students, while 84 others are expected in the fall. This is without counting those who arrive from other regions, who must also find accommodation.

“There was urgency, especially since we are putting pressure on the community,” underlines Mr. Léveillé, who mentions cases of “renoviction”. He explains with regret that owners may have been tempted to subdivide apartments housing families to convert them into smaller accommodation and thus take advantage of the student windfall.

For MP Marie-Louise Tardif, the news also fills a void. She describes having worked on a residence project, which would have been carried out under the authority of the CEGEP. The initiative, however, came up against demand exceeding the supply available in state coffers.

The elected CAQ representative explains that she wants today to put her efforts into helping the Philiberts obtain rental insurance, through the SHQ, and to facilitate the realization of the next phases of the project.

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