The Nicholas County High School was constructed in 1913 and designed by noted West Virginia architect H. Russ Warne. The auditorium addition was constructed in 1924. As is the case in many communities, a larger, modern high school was constructed in later years and the original stone structure was abandoned. The Nicholas County Historic Landmarks Commission along with other local interested organizations formed the Old Main Steering Committee in November of 1989 and began making plans for the reuse of the building. In 1990 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. From this initial steering committee the Old Main Foundation was formed and incorporated with a tax exempt status.
Our firm was contracted to provide the Old Main Foundation with an analysis of the existing condition of the building; to analyze the major components of the building and their condition, such as the heating system, etc.; identify the potential uses of the structure based on the needs of the community and available funds for programming; determine if those uses could be accommodated in the building; develop a rough estimate of the cost of maintenance and operations of the building once it was rehabilitated; determine a cost for rehabilitation based on the projected uses; and provide some direction on staff, boards and other administrative requirements for the project.
The intent of our report was to provide the Foundation with a report that they could review and decide whether they were able to accept the gift of the building from the Board of Education.