The Nelson Christian School Society officially opened its new building with a ribbon cutting on Nov. 13. The society has purchased the former School District 8 office property at 570 Johnstone Road.
The 10,000-square-foot building and surrounding fields will house the society’s K-9 school, its provincial online learning school, and a preschool program.
The building was the subject of controversy in 2021 when Valid Manufacturing of Salmon Arm asked the Regional District of Central Kootenay board to rezone the property to allow light industry. The board denied this request following protests from the neighbours.
The land is already zoned for institutional use, so no zoning change was needed for the school.
Tracy Ashley, principal of the Nelson Christian School, told the Nelson Star that the neighbors are supportive.
”The neighbours have been incredibly welcoming and happy that we are here,” she said. “This includes many people who live on Johnstone Road. They want us to put a full playground in so the neighbourhood can use it, so that is part of our long-term planning.”
Tom Newell, director for Area F of the RDCK, told the Nelson Star he has heard no feedback from his constituents about the new use of the building.
Ashley said the society has already renovated the interior of the building and are about to start the exterior. They can move in after the anticipated delivery of a 30,000 gallon water tank for fire suppression, needed because the fire hydrants on Johnstone Road are not active.