By Sarah Richardson
Downtown White Sulphur Springs is continuing to see massive upgrades and renovations as the Disability Opportunity Fund (DOF), a Community Development Institution (CDFI), makes headway with the renovation of the old White Sulphur Springs High School building into the Schoolhouse Hotel.
The DOF has already renovated numerous storefronts on Main Street in White Sulphur including what is now M Boutique, ACE Hardware, GreenRiver Academy, Pinoy Store, Tootsie’s Place, and the Paw Spa. The Schoolhouse Hotel will be the largest of the projects so far as the building receives a facelift and extensive interior upgrades to complete the transformation into a hotel.
While they may be updating the space, keeping the spirit of the building alive is paramount throughout the process. Trophies, uniforms, photos, footballs, and other high school memorabilia will be preserved to help capture the original essence of the building, with a strong focus on community history.
“The Schoolhouse Hotel will be a real hub for the community—from its restaurant and rooftop bar to its event space. We will end up employing 40 to 50 local people through hotel operations, food and beverage, and event staffing,” said Operations Manager Cindy Bennett.
The DOF’s focus is to provide technical and financial services to individuals and organizations serving the disability market throughout the United States, with a focus on affordable housing, education, vocational training and employment.
As progress surges forward, a FAQ was released to provide further details on their potential opening date, employment opportunities, and more:
What is The Schoolhouse Hotel?
The Schoolhouse Hotel is White Sulphur Springs’ first full-service boutique hotel. This exciting project will transform the former historic WSS High School into a hub for the community and visitors alike. Featuring 30 uniquely appointed guest rooms, an upscale restaurant/grill, a rooftop bar, and flexible ballroom space perfect for weddings, conferences and so much more. The Schoolhouse Hotel will showcase the best in West Virginia hospitality and lodging in a completely inclusive atmosphere.
Conceived and developed by The Disability Opportunity Fund, The Schoolhouse Hotel will be built with a focus on community. The renowned architectural firm, Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates, has designed a hotel that pays homage to its storied schoolhouse past and the building’s place in the history of the town of White Sulphur Springs. Memorabilia from the old high school will adorn the walls, and playful nods to the school days of yesteryear will be peppered throughout the hotel experience.
Groundbreaking on this exciting new Greenbrier County hotel happened in January 2021, and we will begin taking reservations as early as this fall.
What amenities will be at The Schoolhouse Hotel?
Aside from the 28 guestrooms and 2 suites, The Schoolhouse Hotel will feature a new restaurant/bar, a rooftop bar overlooking downtown White Sulphur Springs, a meeting and event space that can host conferences, weddings, and more, a business center, and an exercise room.
When will The Schoolhouse Hotel be completed?
We are planning to open in 1Q of 2022.
When can I book a room at the hotel?
We hope to have bookings open by fall of this year. Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed on room releases.
Will there be an event space at the hotel?
Yes, we will have a large event space for hosting weddings, conferences, community events and more. Our in-house catering will take care of all your food and beverage needs, while local vendors will help supplement your needs. To learn more, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Will there be a spa at the hotel?
There will not be a spa at hotel.
Who is the developer, The Disability Opportunity Fund?
The Disability Opportunity Fund (DOF) is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) whose goal is to help communities spark economic growth. By financing community businesses—including small businesses, nonprofit organizations, commercial real estate, and affordable housing—CDFIs generate job growth and retention in hard-to serve areas across the United States. DOF’s objective is to introduce the disability market to the CDFI community. With DOF’s mission to focus on the disability market, The Schoolhouse Hotel will be a completely accessible hotel where everyone’s’ needs will be met without ever needing special accommodations.
How are you working to preserve the historic building that was once the White Sulphur Springs High School?
We are diligently working to retain the historical dignity of the building. To that extent, some of the features of the old school will be directly integrated into the design and build of the hotel. We rescued a number of items of other memorabilia from the school, which we will display throughout the halls of the hotel for the community to enjoy.
How do I apply for a job at The Schoolhouse Hotel?
Over the next few months, we will be hiring the remaining management team—Executive Chef, Director of Operations, and Food and Beverage Director. We hope to host a Job Fair in late summer to hire all other positions. Please sign up for our Newsletter to stay informed.
Visit https://theschoolhousehotelwv.com/contact/ to subscribe to the Newsletter.