Landmark Lismore property, the Brown & Jolly Centre.
Landmark Lismore property, the Brown & Jolly Centre.

New Lismore school to expand into landmark CBD building

A PROGRESSIVE new school that only opened its doors last year has announced major plans to expand into the Lismore CBD.

The Living School which was started by John and Sophie Stewart currently has kindergarten to Year 8 classes at its Conway St location.

But they recently bought the landmark Brown & Jolly building in Woodlark St for an “undisclosed price” and will soon offer classes up to Year 13 and take more enrolments.

“Having a K-13 coeducational offering at the heart of Lismore is a focus on reconnecting and engaging learners with a town,” Mr Stewart said.

John Stewart from the Living School.
John Stewart from the Living School.

“If the purpose of school is to improve community, schools must be in a community: we want to grow a community of shared futures.

“As the African proverb says, it takes a village to raise a child.”

At the Brown & Jolly campus, there will be play spaces, arts, music, drama, design and a natural forest with a 43-ft up-ended boat.

Mr Stewart said they would “maintain the integrity of the building and the community”.

“At the heart of Living School is an emphasis on creative repurposing and reusing for a sustainable future,” he said.

The building was originally used as the display rooms for timber and joinery manufacturers Brown & Jolly, then it housed businesses such as Chandlers and Spotlight.

But ever since Spotlight shut its doors and moved to HomeCo at South Lismore two years ago, this large building in Woodlark St in the Lismore CBD has remained empty.