The Schoolhouse Hotel the first to fully meet ADA accessibility regulations

The recently opened Schoolhouse Hotel in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va., claims to be the first to fully meet American with Disabilities Act regulations.
The recently opened Schoolhouse Hotel in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va., claims to be the first to fully meet Americans with Disabilities Act regulations.

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. – A new boutique hotel in West Virginia has made history—but the accomplishment might catch some people by surprise.

The Schoolhouse Hotel in White Sulphur Springs, which opened in late May, is the first hotel to fully comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act regulations.

Originally serving as several schools between 1912 and 2019, the building was purchased by The Disability Opportunity Fund and converted into the new hotel.

In an interview with the Charleston Gazette-Mail earlier this year, Genny Freiman, project manager with The Disability Opportunity Fund, noted all the rooms and public spaces within the hotel are completely accessible.

“So, we’re trying to change the thought behind disabilities, as well as showing hotels that this is a way to make a hotel,” Freiman said.

To achieve this level of accessibility, the building was given a complete renovation. However, aspects of its history were retained, including the original bell, and all 30 rooms being based on a school subject.

In addition to the rooms, the hotel features an upscale restaurant/grill, a rooftop bar, and flexible ballroom space for weddings and conferences.

According to the hotel’s website, some of the steps taken to create a high standard of accessibility include interior surface colors within the cool range (blue, green, brown, and black); limited graphics on wallpaper, flooring, ceilings, etc.; lighting with lens to limit view of lighted bulbs; and horns and strobes installed on fire alarm devices.

The ballroom and stage have AV screens on each wall, allowing for a 360-degree view; space for wheelchair and scooter storage; an electric lift to the stage; and accessible toilet rooms.

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