Work resumes on future Batshaw youth centre in Beaconsfield, Que.

Click to play video: 'Future Batshaw youth centre in Beaconsfield delayed due to COVID-19'
Future Batshaw youth centre in Beaconsfield delayed due to COVID-19
WATCH: Chalk up COVID-19 as another reason why the future Batshaw Youth Centre in Beaconsfield has been marred with delays. But plans are back on track to finish building phase one and open part of the facility by June with dozens of distressed teenagers slated to move in. As Global’s Tim Sargeant reports, it's shaping up to be a massive re-adaptation centre – Jan 14, 2021

Work is ramping up once again to finish building the Batshaw youth readaptation centre on Elm Avenue in Beaconsfield.

Officials are hoping to have phase one completed and open by June.

Forty-eight at-risk teens are slated to move into the centre from the existing but aging facility in Dorval.

Read more: Batshaw project in Beaconsfield still marred by delays

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“I’m really looking forward to June. Yes, very much so because It’s the first phase in a three phase process for us,” Katherine Moxness, the Batshaw Youth Program Director told Global News.

Opening the centre has been marred with delays since its initial ground breaking in 2013. Red tape and a a lack of funds prevented the youth centre from opening by its original date of 2015.

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“We’re anxious to see done and completed and in operation,” Beaconsfield mayor Georges Bourelle told Global News.

Last year, the site was used as a COVID-19 diagnostic testing centre, but those services have now moved to Kirkland, paving the way for the planned June opening.

“If I have to go to Quebec City and ask questions to Lionel Carmant, the responsible, and say, ‘Why is there any additional delays? This is unacceptable.’ I will do that,” Greg Kelley, MNA (Liberal — Jacques-Cartier) told Global News.

Read more: Officials promising to finish Batshaw homes for at-risk youth in Beaconsfield by fall 2018

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Batshaw Youth Protection Services also operates a detention centre for young offenders in Prevost in the Laurentians, but the plan is to close that facility and move those juveniles to Dorval — once it’s renovated into a closed, secure detention centre.

Juvenile crime has dropped in recent years, according to the latest figures by Statistics Canada, but the number of youths being reported to protection services has seen an uptick in recent years, increasing demands for new facilities like the one in Beaconsfield.

“Those are like sanctuaries for these kids who have gone through difficult upbringings. So, I’m looking forward to visiting it,” Dr. Delphine Collin-Vézina, McGill University Director for Research on Children and Families, told Global News.

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Officials plan to expand the Beaconsfield readaptation centre to accommodate up to 84 youths by the end of 2024 or early 2025.

Click to play video: 'Batshaw building in Beaconsfield hanging in limbo'
Batshaw building in Beaconsfield hanging in limbo

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