A New Day for the former Fort Gay High School
Fort Gay Mayor Joetta Hatfield along with the local organization, New Day in Fort Gay, are working to give the former Fort Gay High School a new life.
The organization consists of five local groups: The Housing Authority of Wayne County, Coalfield Development Corporation, the Town of Fort Gay, the Fort Gay Neighborhood Association, and the Wayne County Community Services Organization. Mayor Hatfield, who is also the president of the New Day in Fort Gay organization, said that the group was started by members who wanted to put new life back into the old high school.
Mayor Hatfield explained, “…our main objective was to find a way to keep the old school from being torn down. It took a few years to make that happen, but the school is now registered as a historical landmark.” The New Day in Fort Gay organization is now trying to secure funding and monies to make apartments on the first and second floors. Additionally, the first floor would be used for the community, such as a new site for the City Hall and other office spaces.
Even though the former high school building has sat vacant for years Mayor Hatfield still feels that the building is still an important part of the town. “The school lawn is used for most everything that takes place in Fort Gay, such as Mountain Heritage Day. From local churches to other local groups, the lawn is a major part of the local activities.”
The organization worked hard to add an outdoor stage to the school lawn in replace of a previous building that stood there. The stage is meant to be an added venue for entertainment during local events. The stage was revealed during the Mountain Heritage Celebration that took place on September 1, 2018. Mayor Hatfield hopes that the stage will help bring in other activities to the town.
Most of the town residents agree that this former high school plays an important role in the community. It was a place were most of them attended high school or middle school. When asked, most agree that they would love to see the old school put to good use instead of tearing it down. With Mayor Hatfield’s and the New Day in Fort Gay organization’s help, the former high school will hopefully have a new day.