Breaking: Mountain View Elementary school building sold to Gareth Jones

The Revelstoke School District has found a buyer for the Mountain View Elementary school building.

The Mountain View Elementary school has been sold to Gareth Jones.

The Mountain View Elementary school has been sold to Gareth Jones.

The Revelstoke School District has found a buyer for the Mountain View Elementary school building.

Gareth Jones, who first made the news in Revelstoke with his plans to open a distillery in town, is buying the heritage building, the school district announced Friday.

“Gareth has a real appreciation and respect for the heritage building, and a vision for its use that will ensure public access to the facility,” the school district said in a news release. “He has experience with heritage conservation, and through his proposal demonstrated a clear understanding of the scope of work involved.”

In an e-mail, Jones said he plans on opening his distillery inside the building, as well as a medical clinic. The distillery will eventually include a tasting room, bar and restaurant. The medical clinic will expand as demand dictates and he is looking for family doctors to join.

“Given previous experience and with a clear passion for heritage properties the school presents a wonderful opportunity,” he wrote. “The plan is to breathe life back into this prestigious, prominent building and create an amazing destination for the Revelstoke community for generations to come.”

Photo: Gareth Jones. ~ By Evan Buhler, Black Press

The release says Jones will be pursuing a Heritage Revitilization Agreement with the City of Revelstoke. The final sale of the building is contingent on an agreement being reached.

Jones initially planned on building a distillery in the Mount Begbie Brewery building, once the brewery moved to its new facility in Johnson Heights. This is his third go with trying to secure a location for his distillery — his initial plan was to build one in Salmon Arm, where he has called home since immigrating to Canada from England.

His plan is to make high-end gin, vodka and whiskey.

The school district sought proposals for the Mountain View Elementary building on three occasions. On the first two occasions they were looking for someone to develop the whole site, but did not receive any adequate proposals.

This spring they issue a new Request For Proposal for only the heritage school building. One offer came in, which was followed by negotiations between Jones and the school district over the summer.

More to follow…