Entry Island: Old School Makeover and $300,000 Toilets

Since the spring, workers have been working to transform the former school into a multifunctional community and tourist center.

Approximately 50% of the building area will be converted into a community center to serve as a meeting place for the people of Entry Island, estimated to be approximately 60 people in the summer and 40 people in the winter.

The other half is occupied by the Entry Island Museumexplains Helena Burke, the executive director of the Conseil des Madelinots Anglophones, an organization better known by its English acronym CAMIE (Council for Anglophone Magdalena Islanders). The community already had a museum in another building, but they wanted to move and modernize the exhibit.

This section of the old school will house the museum’s exhibition space.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Isabelle Larose

Four rooms will also be furnished that will serve as housing for the employees of the CAMIEincluding the staff of the future museum.

We know that the people of Île d’Entrée are getting older and we have to think about the next generationmentions Helena Burke. I think we will have to hire workers from outside the island, as many companies are already doing, but to attract people from outside, housing.

Helena Burke, sitting at her computer.

Helena Burke is the Executive Director of the Council of English Madelinots (CAMI). The organization has owned the former school on Entry Island since 2018.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Isabelle Larose

Hosting will also allow the service offerings of the CAMIEoften affected by the cancellation of crossings between Cap-aux-Meules and Entry Island.

CAMI pour offrir des activités à l’île d’Entrée c’est la météo, parce qu’on n’ira pas si on croit que le traversier ne reviendra pas le soir, mais avec des chambres et des salles de bain, on pourra y aller sans d’inquiétude”,”text”:”Un gros défi que nous avons au CAMI pour offrir des activités à l’île d’Entrée c’est la météo, parce qu’on n’ira pas si on croit que le traversier ne reviendra pas le soir, mais avec des chambres et des salles de bain, on pourra y aller sans d’inquiétude”}}”>A big challenge we have at CAMIE to offer activities on Entry Island, it’s the weather because we don’t go if we think the ferry won’t come back in the evening. With bedrooms and bathrooms we can go there without worriesexplains Mrs Burke. We will be able to offer our services more consistently.

The total cost of the building remodeling project is now estimated at $2.4 million. Construction should be completed in October.

Employees switch windows.

“There is a lot of work to be done, all windows and the roof have to be replaced, the entire building is being renovated,” Helena Burke sums up. When the renovation is done, it will be brand new.”

Photo: Radio-Canada / Isabelle Larose

000$”,”text”:”On a trouvé plus de pourriture que ce qu’on avait prévu, donc ça a allongé les délais d’environ six semaines de l’échéancier initial de travail et fait augmenter le budget de 100000$”}}”>We found more rot than we expected, extending the original work schedule by about six weeks and increasing the budget by $100,000.says Mrs Burke.

A team from the Economuseum Network Society will travel to Entry Island this fall to CAMIE to install and prepare the new museum exhibition to be presented to visitors in the summer of 2023.

$300,000 toilet installation

To the west of the old school, the municipality has recently installed new municipal toilets on the site of the island’s former airport, about 400 meters from the harbour.

This installation follows the discontent caused last year by the frequent closure of public toilets due to overflowing of the sealed septic tank.

The municipality has therefore rented toilets equipped with an integrated wastewater treatment system to solve the problem.

Two containers, one with two toilets.

The system consists of two containers containing two toilets and a wastewater treatment plant.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Isabelle Larose

It’s perfectly self-contained so it doesn’t need to be emptied every weekexplains the mayor of the Magdalena Islands, Jonathan Lapierre. It is able to separate solids and liquids, process them and then dispose of clean water.

The installation of these new style toilets is considered a pilot project. Initially, the city council chose to rent the equipment for the summer with an option to purchase.

If it is satisfied with the infrastructure at the end of the summer season, it will acquire it at a cost of $296,000, including rental costs.

While the amount may seem impressive, the mayor points out that emptying the old system was also very expensive.

000$ à 90000$ pour opérer les anciennes toilettes parce qu’il fallait les vidanger pratiquement trois fois par semaine en mettant un camion sur le traversier”,”text”:”Chaque été, ça nous coûtait de 70000$ à 90000$ pour opérer les anciennes toilettes parce qu’il fallait les vidanger pratiquement trois fois par semaine en mettant un camion sur le traversier”}}”>Every summer it cost us $70,000 to $90,000 to operate the old toilets as they had to be emptied nearly three times a week by putting a truck on the ferrysays Jonathan Lapierre.

Annual maintenance costs for the new system are estimated at $5,000.

A landscape of Entry Island

Entry Island is the only inhabited Magdalena Island not connected to the others by land. The Ivan-Quinn ferry provides maritime services between Entry Island and Cap-aux-Meules (archives).

Photo: Radio-Canada / Isabelle Larose

Many Entry Island residents regret the location the municipality has chosen to install the infrastructure. This one is set back from the main trail, on top of a hill. For his part, the mayor of the Îles-de-la-Madeleine replied that the possibilities were limited.

On Entry Island we don’t have land where we can build a normal septic fieldexplains Jonathan Lapierre. We also spoke to owners who have strategically placed land to install public toilets, but it all ended in failure.

The mayor recalls that the summer’s experience will determine what happens next.

It is a pilot project to see whether the equipment and the location meet the requirements, we may come to conclusions that show that this is not the case.he mentions.

A coast with a building on it.

The municipal toilets are not visible from the road and are located at the top of this slope, behind the building of the Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Isabelle Larose

During Radio-Canada’s visit to Entry Island last week, there was no billboard directing visitors to the new toilet, although this is not visible from the road.

The communication manager of the municipality then indicated that it was a matter of days before the signage is installed.

Leave a Comment