City of Smithers turns old school into thriving community center

SMITHERS, WV (WOAY) – It is an old school turned city hall and community center.

Known as the Gateway Center in Smithers, it was made possible by a donation of the old Valley Elementary School to the city.

They have since turned it into a community center that houses the police department, city hall, the municipal court, Starting Points Daycare and Resource Center, a New River Health clinic and pharmacy, Fayette Senior Center’s nutrition and activities program, West Virginia State’s extension office, the Midland Trail Association and an insurance company. 

In terms of tenants, the Gateway Center is full, but because the building houses a gym, stage, playground and giant parking lot, Mayor Anne Cavalier says there are plenty of opportunities to host community-building programs.

“Where we’re going to grow is with programs, so we’ve just had our First Friday Farmers Market and we’ll be adding other farmers markets and produce events,” she said.  

The city officially moved in in February 2020 and right now, city hall visits are by appointment only. 

Anna Saunders
Anna Saunders is a weekend reporter for WOAY. With a diploma from Princeton Senior High School and a mother from Fayette County, she is no stranger to the area. She received a degree in Media Arts and Design from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia and wanted to return home to start her career as a reporter.