Inaugurated in 2004 by the Department, the site had been abandoned since the transfer of transport skills. After unsuccessful attempts to sell, the premises will be fitted out to accommodate the new premises of the joint union for aquatic environments and rivers (Smmar) in the spring of 2023.
It’s a very long story that is finally coming to an end. With the horizon of spring 2023 set for the site of the school exchange center of Grazailles, in Carcassonne, to regain activity. Better even, a utility. When the Department commissioned the site in 2004, an investment of €1.3 million made it possible to develop 10,000 m2 of land for parking bays, a circulation and maneuvering area, a reception building with a waiting room, or even technical rooms and offices. Except that the tool suffers the full force of territorial reforms, and in particular the NOTRe law: with, on the subject of transport, a redistribution of cards, with the hand given to the Region and to the intercos for schoolchildren. And, on the side of Carcassonne Agglo, a preference shown to organize the ballet of buses in the city center.
In 2016, it is therefore a private exchange center of any utility that remains deserted. Two years later, ensuring that the site has been “paid and amortized”the Department, noting the “disaffection” property, therefore decides to try to sell the premises, estimated by the services of the Estate at 640,000 € (for a net book value of 750,700 €). A vain approach, despite contacts, in particular with a carrier. Because the Department then discovers another aspect of the file: the local urban plan (PLU) of the municipality of Carcassonne makes this plot an area exclusively intended for public service activities. To complete the sale to a private party, a revision of the PLU for the site would therefore be necessary. No objection from the City side.
The Smmar was cramped
Until one last twist. “Meanwhile, says Jean Brunel, chief of staff to the president of the departmental council, the mixed union of aquatic environments and rivers (Smmar) contacted us because they were cramped in their current premises.” Housed in a wing of the Department, the Smmar has desires elsewhere. This will therefore be the site of the school exchange centre. On which the Department has just launched a rental market for modular buildings for a firm period of four years. At stake, the installation of more than 360 m2 of modules, to install 16 offices, a meeting room of 68 m2 ; without forgetting the servicing and connection works necessary for operation; or even the development, on the former premises of the exchange hub, of a reception, with differentiated entrances for the public and staff.
If the market is linked to a temporary occupation, it is because the Department has ideas for the future. This time on an estate acquired by the Department, a stone’s throw away: where the project to house a childcare facility (SAE) there was abandoned in favor “of several living units of smaller sizes distributed in various places”, says Jean Brunel. Thus opening up the possibility of making the site a place dedicated to “public engineering with satellite organizations or partners of the Department”, which could therefore join the Smmar in the long term. Just like the departmental technical agency (ATD). Who for the time being, in the Department, will recover the premises released in the spring by the Smmar. A game of musical chairs that only makes people happy. Waiting for the distant prospect of a big move that will once again leave the hub of exchange orphaned.