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Community and Culture in the New River Gorge
Item 11 of 13
This is a contributing entry for Community and Culture in the New River Gorge and only appears as part of that tour.Learn More.

Sandstone School operated on this site from 1925 until 1994. The official name of the educational institution was Green Sulphur District High School, though the emblematic sandstone construction and instruction of more than high school students led to the colloquial name. The building remained unaltered for a majority of the twentieth century, though facilities such as a vocational agriculture building, a gymnasium, and sports fields were added to the grounds. The first class graduated in 1929 and between then and 1971, nine hundred students received a high school diploma at Sandstone School.  Due to education restructuring in 1971, the school only taught elementary classes. In 1994, the Sandstone School was consolidated with other local area schools.

Sandstone School remained extant until the early 2000s, when the land was repurposed for the National Park Service’s Sandstone Visitor Center in the New River Gorge. The Sandstone Visitor Center continues the educational legacy of the Sandstone School through a variety of interpretive displays and programs. The community of Sandstone School alumni also maintain the heritage of the institution. Known as “The Hornets” for their mascot, alumni frequently hold class reunions, fundraisers, and other cultural events. The site of the Sandstone School is an important reminder of the daily lives that played out in the New River Gorge alongside the more frequently discussed economic activities.

The Sandstone School was a community hub in its heyday.

Land vehicle, Car, Building, Vehicle

Buses parked in front of the school display its official name: Green Sulphur District High School.

Wheel, Tire, Vehicle, Building

The vocational agricultural annex offered additional learning opportunities for motivated students.

Sky, Plant, Building, Window

The Sandstone Visitor Center, built on the site of the Sandstone School.

Plant, Property, Building, Cloud

Sandstone School alumni in front of an interpretive plaque commemorating the school.

Trousers, Jeans, Plant, Vertebrate

Sandstone School, National Park Service. January 26th 2021. Accessed June 2nd 2021.

Sandstone Visitor Center, National Park Service. January 25th 2021. Accessed June 2nd 2021.

Stahlgren, Lori et al. Historical Archaeological Survey: New River Gorge National River and Gauley River National Recreation Area. Lexington, KY. Kentucky Archaeological Survey, 2007.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

National Park Service. Accessed June 2nd, 2021.

National Park Service. Accessed June 2nd, 2021.

National Park Service. Accessed June 2nd, 2021.

National Park Service. Accessed June 2nd, 2021.

2011. National Park Service. Accessed June 2nd, 2021.