A heritage church building has been purchased and will be used as a community facility.
Karen Halliday and Jen Weaton have purchased the historic Lakeside Presbyterian Church building and will take possession of it on Saturday.
Halliday said the purchase price of the building was slightly less than $450,000.
The two plan to refinish it and open it as The Service Station at Lakeside Church.
“We want to open it back up to the community,” Halliday said. “We’re going to give it new life.”
Halliday and Weaton plan to have dance classes and programs for children in the facility, as well as yoga classes, art exhibits and concerts.
The exterior of the building will be repainted white with black accents.
The sanctuary space on the main level of the building will be preserved, although the laminate flooring and most of the pews will be removed. The pews are much newer than the building.
The historic organ will be protected and much of the structure of the building will remain as it is.
“It’s a structurally sound building. It’s amazingly well built,” Halliday said. “It’s got the most amazing acoustics in there.”
The basement will also be reworked, and the paneling there, likely from the late 1960s or early 1970s, will be removed.
Some of the building’s windows, which have been covered over in past years, will likely be opened up once again. The 225-seat building has a long history in Summerland.
It was constructed in 1910 and was initially called the Lakeside Baptist Church.
In 1926, the United Church purchased the building and at that time, the large oak pipe organ, built by Edward Lye and Sons from Toronto, was purchased.
Over the years, the church building has served other purposes.
From 1933 to 1958, the Summerland Regional Library was housed in the basement. For a short time, the facility also served as the fire station for the Lowertown area.
In 1958, the Summerland Masonic Lodge purchased and restored the building.
In 1991, it was sold to the Presbyterian Church, and it continued as a church until 2015. The building has been recognized for its heritage.
The building has received minimal alterations over the years. The most noticeable are some windows which have been sealed off.
In 1984, it was registered as a heritage building with the province. That registration was later removed by the Masons.
In 1998, it was recognized as a municipal heritage building.
And in 2015, it received heritage protection from the municipality. The building is now on the municipality’s community heritage register.