At The Grand Patrician Resort in Milton, West Virginia, history is in the remaking.
The resort, first the site of Morris Memorial Hospital, began as a polio rehabilitative hospital for children under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1936. With the eradication of polio, the hospital transitioned into a nursing home until it closed in 2009. In October 2017, the Hoops family purchased the vacant facility and its surrounding property.
The Grand Patrician Resort will be a full Wyndham resort, and its amenities in and outdoors will include a full-sized civic center, two modular regulation-sized baseball fields, an indoor sports complex with the state's largest Olympic-sized swimming pool, a spa and an indoor pool with a lazy river.
Josh Jackson, project manager of The Grand Patrician and Milton native, said the resort will give his hometown the polish it needs.
"The goal is to give back to the community and give Milton, which is a diamond in the rough, a shine," Jackson said. "It's to bring a spotlight to the area, bring jobs to the community and to get families back together. Everything here is family centric."
Jackson, who was the first hire for The Grand Patrician Resort, accepted his position with great pride and enthusiasm. As a history buff, he considers it an honor of a lifetime to be included and in charge of the renovation and construction of the resort.
"I call this project my second home," Jackson said. "When the Hoops family asked me to jump onboard with this project, before [Jeff Hoops could finish asking], I said yes. To be a local guy and to know what this place was and to see it come from being vandalized and in despair, it's incredible to see it come full circle."
The building itself was initially slated to be a retirement community, but over time, the plans shifted. Now, the sturdy foundation of Morris Memorial will become the center of attention.
The first and second floors of the resort will be available for lodging, the third floor will be for the restaurant and sports bar and the fourth and fifth floors will be reserved for the Hoops family.
"We've stuck with the general ideas, and we're just making everything bigger," Jackson said. "We started with an amphitheater that's going to be a civic center now. We're just adding to the features and upscaling everything."
Jackson said he hopes the resort's presence prompts growth elsewhere in the community.
"I like to think of Milton like the [small towns in] movies, when it opens up in New England, and there's an American flags on the street in the small town," he said. "We're going to get back to that. That's my hope, anyway. It's going to be huge for the area and for the state as a whole. It's a win-win-win all the way around."
When remodeling the interior of the former hospital, the crew found and preserved many relics from the building's past. It's the goal to display their findings in a museum inside the gift shop, Jackson said.
"I have five kids, and I'm proud to be part of this," Jackson said. "I look forward to the day when I can show my grandkids and they can say, 'Wow, my grandpa was part of this, look what my grandpa did - he was in charge of this.'"
The Grand Patrician Resort's opening is still to be determined.