Cognac: The youth room has found a way out

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But this forced migration is far from easy to organize. Especially for Espace jeunes, which, like the table tennis club (see opposite), has limitations in terms of surface area to be able to accommodate all its activities. Not to mention that, if possible, the future premises must be located fairly centrally in the city.

Live in the heart of the city

After several months of research, Grand Cognac – which manages Espace jeunes – found the three-legged duck. These are the former premises of Maisons Chantal B, located at 27 boulevard Émile-Zola. “It has great potential with a volume similar to the current premises, with a great room of 200 m², a barn of 80 m² and a courtyard of 300 m².”confirms Julien Descoubes, the co-director of the Youth Room, who visited the premises.

The president of Grand Cognac, Jérôme Sourisseau, confirms the purchase of the premises by Agglo, “because it could meet our immediate needs”. But he is careful. “It is urgent to move Espace jeunes, but it is still too early to say whether it will be permanent or temporary, because we have another idea for a location, more in the heart of the city. » But it could not be immediately.


The former premises of Maisons Chantal B, boulevard Émile-Zola in Cognac, could accommodate Espace jeunes.

Photo Thomas Brunet

The solution would thus be to set up Espace jeunes underneath “two or three years”, time to find the ideal location. If work is needed on rue Émile-Zola to accommodate young people, “it will be light work, minimum, so it can live well during this transition period”, warns Jérôme Sourisseau. And also because the deadlines will be very short between now and spring.

It will be light work so it can live well during this transition period.

The technical services were on site last week to make an inventory. “And see how we will be able to organize the structure to arrange the different spaces”, states Julien Descoubes, who predicts “to involve the whole team” on the development project.

Move the sports department

In this major upheaval, some files were thankfully quicker to manage. This is the case for martial arts clubs (French boxing, taekwondo, karate and aikido) hosted in the Green Room. Everyone will take the direction of the Polignac room (place Camille-Godard), where schoolchildren will surely also go (Élisée-Mousnier, Saint-Joseph and Beaulieu). The room is currently under construction. And these have been delayed due to unforeseen asbestos removal. “They were supposed to finish at the end of 2022, the beginning of 2023, but we are moving the clubs at the last minute so that they can finish their season”states the elected representative for sports, Florent-José Rodrigues.

There is still the matter of the city’s sports department, which also hosts the venue. “We are still looking for a solution, which would be a building with four offices for our four employees and a storage place, since we have about twenty bikes”, says Florent-José Rodrigues, who admits to having “wires, but nothing concrete”. But there, too, it will be necessary to move quickly…

The Cognac table tennis club would like to be able to move into the former Hennessy cooperage on the Haute-Sarrazine grounds.


The Cognac table tennis club would like to be able to move into the former Hennessy cooperage on the Haute-Sarrazine site.

Photo Thomas Brunet

The table tennis club wants to move to Haute-Sarrazine

One case is still not decided on the site: that of the Friendly Union of Cognac of table tennis (UACTT). Neighboring the Espace jeunes, the club still does not know where it will develop next season, as it is understood that it will end the current one in the municipal hall Armand-Traolé. Several proposals were made to him by Grand Cognac (moving to Espace 3000 or Vauzelles, joining the Châteaubernard club, etc.) and all were rejected. Until there. Because a new track seduces the leaders. “The idea would be to move to Haute-Sarrazine, in the former Hennessy cooperage located on avenue de Saintes”, reveals Florent-José Rodrigues.
The chairman of the club, André Sardet, does not hide the fact that this proposal interests him to the highest degree. “We were immediately seduced by the potential of this enormous building” [près de 7.000 m² de couverture, Ndlr]. The only concern, but a big one: the work promises to be expensive. “We are in studies and estimates, but it will be expensive”does not hide Florent-José Rodrigues, who is waiting to see the amounts and any subsidies to make a decision.
In any case, UACTT is ready to put its hand in its pocket to help the municipality finance the work. “We are ready to invest 30,000 euros, which is a very large sum for the club”says André Sardet, who will be able to count on a zero-interest loan of 10,000 euros from the departmental committee and holding competitions to generate revenue. “It’s not won, but we believe in it”, he said.

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