SD8 – Kootenay Lake sells former Board office property

Property to be used to create new job opportunities in the region

The SD8 - Kootenay Lake School District property at 570 Johnstone Road will soon be re-tooled!

First built as an Elementary school in the 1960s and later home to the School Board offices, the 2.5 acre parcel on the North Shore, opposite the City of Nelson, will be changing hands to become a new place of employment in the region this coming year. Valid Manufacturing, an engineering and light assembly manufacturing firm, has purchased the building with intention to expand its engineering and electronics manufacturing operations into the West Kootenays.   

Based out of Salmon Arm, Valid Manufacturing specializes in delivering innovative and reliable solutions for a wide range of industries including agriculture, transportation, recreation and even the film industry. Valid Manufacturing recognizes this region is home to many talented, skilled technical people and will be looking for individuals to join their team at all levels of the organization. 

For a purchase price of $1,120,000, proceeds of the sale are planned to be used to reinvest in District facilities, under the Board’s Capital Operations Plan, which is part of its Long-Range Facilities Planning process. “This transaction is win-win,” commented Board Chair Lenora Trenaman, “given the Board’s commitment to upgrade other SD8 learning environments and that it will provide the opportunity for more job creation in our community.”

On June 23, 2020, the Board of Education adopted its current 5-year Capital Operations Plan, committing to a major sustained increase in annual funding to upgrade facilities in the District. The current 5-Year Capital Operations Plan (2020-2025) is available on the District website with detailed expenses by project category. Board’s Capital Operations Plan.

SD8 - Kootenay Lake School District revisits and updates its plans for capital spending on District facilities each year. However Long-Range Facilities planning is ongoing, and involves routine, in-depth study of enrolment projections and existing facilities. The District also conducts regular, transparent consultative processes with stakeholders in all of the District’s six families of schools. The 2021 Facilities Planning meetings are scheduled for February and March, visit the website for further details: District Website Calendar.

The 570 Johnstone Road property was the first home to the North Shore Elementary School in the early 1960s to service the growing student population on the north side of the Kootenay River. The school was built shortly after the new West Arm bridge, now affectionately known as BOB: the Big Orange Bridge opened in 1957.

It later became the offices for SD8’s first distributed learning program: DESK (Distance Education School of the Kootenays) in the 1990s and eventually the administrative offices for the School Board in 2004. In 2018, the School Board offices were relocated to their current location in Central School, 811 Stanley Street, Nelson. The following year, Elections Canada opened a temporary office for Nelson and Kootenay Columbia riding voters leading up to the 2019 Federal election campaign.

“The sale of this historic holding is both sentimental and affirming,” shares Board Chair Lenora Trenaman, “the sale of the property will allow the Board to reinvest the proceeds and the story of education that happened there will always remain part of our history.”


For more information:

Michael McLellan, Secretary-Treasurer & CFO

About the Board of Education of School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake):

The Board of Education of School District No. 8 provides educational services to numerous diverse communities in the East & West Kootenays, including Crawford Bay, Creston, Kaslo, Meadow Creek, Nelson, Salmo, Slocan, South Slocan, Winlaw, Wynndel and Yahk. Its dedicated team focuses on providing the best possible educational opportunities for over 5,400 students and their families. Its mission is to focus on excellence for all learners in a nurturing environment.