The Calhoun County High School became a part of our community, built by our forefathers with high hopes for the children who would pass through its doors. Built out of native Arnoldsburg formation sandstone, it had a strong foundation and tremendous community support.
Calhoun County High was closed and abandoned. Closing the school, which was the hub of the community, "absolutely killed the town," according to 1980 Calhoun County High graduate George Butt. "There were over 50 businesses at one point in time," said Butt, "Now there's a handful."
It’s about more than a building. It’s about building a community’s future.
Calhoun County High’s Class of 1982 formed “The 1982 Foundation” – a charitable 501(c)(3) organization – and purchased the school, with plans to turn it into a vibrant, self-funded mixed-use community center for all to enjoy. The Calhoun County Community will have space for summer camps, meeting rooms, café, gym, daycare, as well as Airbnb units.
More than 800 people attended the Brick-breaking Festival for the new Calhoun County Community Center. The event was covered far and wide, on television stations all over the state and even on Yahoo News.
Roger Hanshaw, Speaker of the West Virginia House of Delegates, spoke at the Brick-breaking Festival and hailed the project as an example of how “we as communities can change our destiny.”
Construction crews started the work of rebuilding the building and the community of Calhoun County started the work of growing support for the effort, expanding its Facebook group to 3.8K members. Pretty impressive for a county of just 7.3K residents!