2013 Update: First Ward School has been transformed into sixteen affordable apartment for seniors 55 and older. Designed in the Georgian Revival Style, the school was built in 1907 and served as First Ward Grade School until 1976, when it was converted into a warehouse for the Randolph County Board of Education. In 2009, Citizens for Historical Opportunity, Preservation, and Education (C-HOPE) purchased the building from the Randolph County Board of Education for $1. It nominated the old school to Preservation Alliance’s 2009 West Virginia Endangered Properties List, conducted a feasibility analysis, successfully nominated it to the National Register of Historic Places, and received a grant to fix the roof. C-HOPE worked with the Randolph County Housing Authority and AU Associates to repurpose the building into the apartments.
2009: First Ward was designed in the Georgian Revival style and constructed in 1909 of locally available building materials, These included hand-cut sandstone, brick, and native hardwoods, used in the structural members, flooring, and decorative trim. The building was closed as a school in the 1970s and used as a storage facility for a number of years thereafter. It is essentially abandoned now, and has developed an increasingly serious roof leak. Structurally, the building was relatively stable until the recent roof leaks began. Over the last year or two, it has deteriorated significantly.
Endangered Properties List
If you are interested in assisting with any of these preservation projects, contact the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia at firstname.lastname@example.org.