House Youth Centre receives some much needed improvements



By Jolene Perron


With their main concern being to help the youth in the community, building repairs have always taken a back burner – that was until recently.

“Around the anniversary of when Convergint was founded, which is June of 2001, the company felt that it was very important to give back to the community so to celebrate the founding of company, the company pays for all of it’s employees to go out and do a social activity day, or a community event,” explained Convergint Technologies account manager Vince Laframboise. “This year, there is over 2,700 colleagues doing this same thing in their 77 locations across the world, so the company pays for all of the employees wages for the day, they pay for improvements, whatever you’re doing at the charity in your local town.”

Approximately 15 employees from the company took over The House to replace all the heating valves, put new thermostats and set up a new computer operating building automation system for heating, taking control of the boiler. They also installed a new camera system and made fire safety improvements.

Convergint Technologies employees stand outside The House Youth Centre.

Convergint Technologies employees stand outside The House Youth Centre.

Laframboise explained The House’s heating system is an old steam heating system, which by it’s nature is actually pretty efficient but it usually requires a lot of work to maintain. Over the years, the boiler has had some work done to it but, Laframboise said of the eight heating valves in their meeting rooms, six of them didn’t work.

“We should give a special shout out to Belimo Air Controls for helping us out to get the valves, Lekter Mechanical for installing them for us, as well as Schneider Electric for helping us with the thermostats here,” said Laframboise. “Without Lekter, Schneider and Belimo I think this would have been a bigger challenge so it’s really great that they saw the value of helping us give back to our community. It’s a little bit more work than what I think they had thought it was going to be initially.”

The company had a couple of submissions from charities which needed assistance, but they felt that The House was the best fit because, Laframboise said, “it’s a bit of a hidden gem in the town of Amherstburg, and that it does great work but it does it very quietly.”

“The people who have gone through The House know about it, and their families know about it, but outside of I think the people who it directly impacts, not a lot of people know about The House,” said Laframboise. “I actually think that if everyone not just knew what we did but actually experienced it, there would be more people coming through here because it really is a special place. I think what we’re able to do here for our teens in town, and giving them a safe place where they get to just be themselves and not be judged is really important so I think for us to pick a place that just gives back all the time, was really important to us.”

The House Youth Centre received some much needed improvements recently, thanks to Congervint Technologies.

The House Youth Centre received some much needed improvements recently, thanks to Congervint Technologies.

The House still has a number of improvements that need to be made. The 150 windows need to be replaced, they will likely need a new boiler in the near future, and the building needs to become accessible. With the building being much older, there are some major challenges it faces.

“We are beyond thrilled, this is definitely one of the most beautiful buildings in Amherstburg and we are very fortunate to be in this historic town and they have been very supportive of us,” said program director, Michelle Laframboise. “While it’s one of our greatest assets, it’s also a challenge for us to continually maintain it. It’s very old but very beautiful so it takes a lot of stuff to upkeep it and upgrade. The work that they’re putting in, the scope of it and the value of it is immeasurable to us. We could not have done this on our own.”

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