Back in 2000 – 2003 various groups and individuals explored ways to save the old high school which had been slated for demolition. At that time, it was the position of School District 8 that the building could only be turned over to a publicly elected organization such as the Village of Salmo. The Village felt unable to take on the responsibility for the ongoing operations of the building.
In January of 2004, a community group formed out of a town meeting with the express purpose of doing whatever they could to save the building for use by the residents of Salmo and area. At that time it was estimated to be worth approx. $2 Million. The demolition date had been set for May of that same year. A petition to save the building was circulated in the community and over 300 signatures were collected and presented to the school board and the Village Council of Salmo. The committee met weekly with guest speakers, school district officials, School Board, Village Council, other community groups and youth in an effort to develop a plan for a self-sustaining community centre.
In April of 2004, the “Salmo Valley Youth & Community Centre Society” was officially incorporated as a provincial non-profit society. The District 8 School Board of Trustees agreed to sell the building to the Village of Salmo for the sum of $1.00 on condition that: Should the venture fail, volunteer contractors would demolish the entire building and… …part of the building must be demolished by a volunteer contractor in order that SD8 would be able to build a K-6 addition to the new Salmo Secondary School should they wish to expand. Both of these conditions were met thanks to commitments from Henry Huser of Custom Dozing, Beaumont Timber, Glover Contracting, Tri Valley Equipment, Wally Huser and Bonderoff Trucking. A Public Village Council Meeting was held and the Council voted 3 to 2 to support our stated vision for the building and to accept responsibility for the building on our behalf. This was the moment we could finally breath a sigh of relief knowing that we had succeeded in saving the building and establishing a future home for the Salmo Valley Youth & Community Centre.