Faced with high repair costs, Kootenay Kids Society has sold its prominent heritage home at 804 Stanley St. and will move the programs offered there to new locations.
“As a non-profit, the cost of upkeep for repairs and maintenance are not doable within our contract dollars,” said Samantha Zaytsoff, co-ordinator of the West Kootenay childcare referral and resource program. While grants were available to cover some of those expenses, she said “it doesn’t make sense to use energy that we could be using to help clients.”
Kootenay Kids bought the home from Paul and Megan Osak in October 2013 and it has since been dubbed Stanley House or the Yellow House.
Zaytsoff said the Kootenay Kids board considered the repairs the building faced in the short-to-medium term, including gutter and roof replacements, and decided over the summer to sell. The building went on the market at the beginning of August with an asking price of $1.05 million. A conditional offer of $1 million was accepted in mid-September. The deal closes Dec. 1.
The childcare resource and referral program, which occupies the main floor, will be relocated to the Community First Health Co-op at 106-518 Lake St., where it will be in the same building as related organizations including Nelson Community Services and Apple Tree Maternity.
Pediatric and occupational therapy, which occupies the second floor along with the regional co-ordinator for resource and referral programs, will move to the Corner Brick building at 206-625 Front St. Zaytsoff noted the new location has elevator access, whereas the Yellow House only has stairs. “Being in the newer building, we can support clients with more diverse needs,” she said.
The moves will happen over the week of Nov. 22-26 and all programs will reopen in their new locations on Dec. 6. Zaytsoff said they will continue to use the Yellow House until then and will still be accessible to clients by email and phone during the move.
Zaytsoff said although there are advantages to the new locations, it’s still with some regret that they say goodbye to their heritage home.
“Being within a home environment supports families to feel comfortable and stay for a while,” she says. “Families come and talk about what’s going on for them, and then get to conversations of support. That’s the environment we’re sad about losing and are trying to recreate in our new spaces.”
The Yellow House was built in 1899-1900 and for many years was home to local lumber magnate William Waldie and family.
Zaytsoff didn’t have any information on the buyer or their plans, except that they will be renovating.
The sale of the Yellow House does not affect Kootenay Kids’ other locations, including the Family Place, just around the corner at 312 Silica St., or their two childcare centres.