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KCS Middle School to replace Willowstone Academy after church acquisition

There will be a bit of a shakeup on the Kelowna school scene next year.

Kelowna Christian School (KCS) announced today that it has acquired the First Lutheran Church (FLC) property on Lakeshore Road, which is currently home to Willowstone Academy (WA).

The acquisition paves the way for KCS to move its middle school (grades 6-8) to the property for the start of the 2023-24 school year, while WA will close and cease operations at that location on June 30, 2023.

There are talks that the school is scouting for a new location, but that has not been officially confirmed by WA.

KCS currently has over 800 students across two campuses and the addition of a third campus will help alleviate some capacity issues.

“This is an exciting time for KCS as God continues to bless our school community,” noted Matt Brasnett, KCS Board Chair.

“The purchase of the Lakeshore Road property will allow us to address capacity issues while providing more opportunities for our children and others seeking Christ-centred education in the Okanagan Valley.”

A release from KCS said that the acquisition is a significant one with regards to the independent school landscape in the region.

<who>Photo Credit: Google Streetview</who>Currently Willowstone Academy, this building will become KCS Middle School next fall.

“Adding a third campus allows KCS to expand programs in academics, athletics, arts, and applied skills, helping all students find profound belonging,” it explained.

“KCS is the largest brick-and-mortar independent school outside Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland in BC. This acquisition changes the footprint of independent education in the Interior.”

The release also recognized that while the news may be exciting for the KCS community, it’s a “significant change” for the WA community.

“KCS will look to extend opportunities for the WA staff by providing reasonable efforts to offer employment where available,” it said.

“Willowstone families and students who wish to join the KCS community will be given priority admission ahead of any other new applying families, provided that they meet our admissions criteria and KCS can serve each applicant well.”

It added that it hopes many WA families will join KCS, but also wants to work with and support the WA community if other opportunities arise for their current students.

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