School District 19 has confirmed the sale of the Mountain View School building to Gareth Jones, who plans to open a distillery, medical clinic and café in it. The sale was completed on December 21.
“The board thanks the City for their efforts to approve a Heritage Revitalization Agreement for the building, which is in need of significant revitalization,” said a statement from SD 19. “Gareth’s offer to purchase indicated his enthusiasm as an owner who will treasure the building and be prepared to allocate the substantial resources to its revitalization.”
Jones told The Revelstoke Current on Tuesday, January 3, that he is already preparing for to ge work underway.
“The next step for the school is to renovate and get the operational area of the distillery open,” Jones told The Current on Tuesday, January 3. “We have been working closely with various engineers over Christmas to ensure that we can hit the ground running.”
He said that since this is a large project they have broken it into phases.
“Buildings like this always retain the ability to generate moments of surprise, despair and delight,” Jones said. “We are looking forward to now rolling our sleeves up and getting on with the work of bring this historic building back to life.”
Besides a Heritage Revitalization Agreement, City Council also voted to waive taxes for the next five years. This does not mean the City l0ses any money as the school was never a taxable property before. (Please click here to read our October 25 story about that piece of the MVE sale story.)
In June 2013 the board discussed possibilities for the 1914 building with the Revelstoke Heritage Commission. It knew at that time that securing an owner would have challenges, due to the significant resources needed for revitalization. “It was also clear from the professional feedback we received that the sizeable funds needed to restore the building would severely limit its sale value,” the statement said. “The board is pleased that that the proceeds from the sale, in the amount of fifty thousand dollars, surpassed the earliest estimates.”
Confirmation of the sale represents an important step to ensure that the board’s resources are focused on students, and functioning school facilities.