Cumberland Times-News

June 2, 2014

‘Reimagine’

New use sought for old Keyser High School


Cumberland Times-News

— Sometimes all it takes is one good idea to turn up something positive. Keyser and Mineral County officials hope someone in the community has that good idea for the old Keyser High School.

A public hearing on the building’s future will be held June 18 at 6 p.m. at the Mineral County Health Department.

The city of Keyser is asking for Potomac State College, BB&T Bank and the West Virginia Redevelopment Collaborative to “reimagine” the building’s future. The structure served as Keyser High until the late 1990s, when a new high school was built.

A suggestion of partnering with the college to turn the building into a community wellness center has garnered a lot of positive feedback, according to Keyser Mayor Randy Amtower. He suggested that building could also house City Hall, the police department, Faith in Action food pantry, Community Corrections and other entities. The county commission rents space for Community Corrections, the Mineral County Development Authority and for the parole office, according to Amtower.

The mayor said local officials are open to any ideas for putting the building to its best use. He said he is hopeful Mineral residents will step forth and suggest a variety of possibilities.

The building was used as Grand Central Business Center, an incubator for small businesses. But foreclosure on the building ended the incubator effort at the end of 2013.

Keyser leaders said they don’t want to put up with a boarded-up eyesore so reuse of old Keyser High is a priority for the city.

Now that the call has gone out for ideas from the community, a fresh solution may be in the offing.