has new purpose beyond learning
buy, renovate and
operate it as a banquet facility
Helen E. McKinney
CARROLLTON, Ky. (December 2011) When David
and Willena Finley purchased the former Old English Schoolhouse in spring
2001, David had plans to open a business that would provide jobs for
local residents of Carroll County. He changed his mind slightly when
he realized how important it would be to preserve this piece of history
for everyone to use.
When Finley bought the building, jobs were beginning to get scarce.
Having a banquet hall didnt come into the picture until later.
courtesy of Jimmy Supplee
Old English Schoolhouse has
been renovated and is now
available for parties.
The Historic English Schoolhouse officially opened in
summer 2010 as a banquet hall for parties, wedding receptions, awards
banquets, family reunions and various similar events. This year
has been our busiest, he said, since wedding receptions and family
reunions are frequently booked there, as well as several upcoming holiday
Before buying the building, Finley looked at it several times. The
building was in very bad shape. The roof had holes in it, and water
was standing on the floor.
After extensive renovation work, the first school reunion was held there
in October 2009. People came here from several states, even as
far as Florida. There were over 500 in attendance that day, Finley
From the very beginning of the schoolhouse renovation, Finley said,
We wanted to keep the look and feel of the original building.
The building was finished in 1929 for that school year.
When the schoolhouse was brand new, it had pine floors in every room
and pine boxcar siding four feet up the walls, painted gray. All of
the flooring is made from white oak hardwood, with the only exception
being the gym. This flooring is maple and appears to be original to
the building when first built, said Finley.
The couple lives in the building and have kept the original boxcar siding
along with the flooring which was laid by the Carrollton Cabinet Factory
when the company took over the building in the mid-1960s after the school
David and Willena, both 66, are originally from Louisville. He trained
as an electrician and she graduated from the University of Louisville
with a nursing degree.
What they have accomplished with the schoolhouse must be in our
blood, said Finley. The last project they tackled was taking a
former century-old church and converting it into a doughnut shop.
The gym of the schoolhouse is the main meeting place and can be rented
for events with tables and chairs provided. The gym is approximately
5,000 square feet and includes a stage. In this space, We have
hosted 225 people with a buffet line, he said. The couple plan
to have more rental space available next year.
A variety of options are available including catering. We do simple
to elegant, said Finley. Dinner wines are permitted, but no other
alcoholic beverages. The schoolhouse is a non-smoking facility.
Other amenities include house sound, stage lighting, video projection
for presentations and modern restrooms.
To make reservations for The Kentucky Jamboree
or to rent a space for an event, please call (502) 750-2241 or (502)
732-5536 or visit: http://schoolhouse1929.com.
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