You’ve met a few of our committee members (here and there, and here and there). If you cannot attend the School Board meetings, you might wonder what we say. On Monday, Feb. 21, we said things like:

HISTORY by Holly

A little after the demolition notice was placed on the barn, we looked to see what kind of history the state had on the barn.  There was no history on file as no one had compiled that.  So we did the research for a 20 page document called a site inventory. (It’s available if anyone wants a copy, I can email the complete file to anyone who wants it, they just need to ask)
The barn is in fact eligible for the National Registry.  Not just any old building can be on the National Registry.  The barn was built in 1932 and tells a few stories:
1.  Farming in the area
2.  Depression area construction (At a time when people were not able to afford construction, CT Good showed his pioneer ancestry by optimistically constructing the barn)
3.  Story of Farm to Suburbia  (Maplenol Estates named for Maplenol Farm)
One of the most visually striking things about the inside is the Shawver Truss system, a high quality, labor and lumber saving method that also allowed for more hay storage.  It was perfect for depression era construction as it allowed more storage for the size of the footprint and enabled more bang for the construction “buck”. This is one of the key features of the barn and why the inside is so expansive.  It’s one of the special things about the barn that make it not only worth saving, but eligible for the National Registry and numerous tax incentives and grant opportunities.  We think the barn is special and so do others!  This isn’t just any old building.  It is very unique and should be saved for that alone!

VISION, read by Julia

I would like to share a VISION for the barn with you.

With our current pledges for funding, Friends of the Maplenol Barn can immediately focus on renovating the barn to prevent further deterioration. The Maplenol Barn can be restored and renovated to be a multi-use, large-space educational and historically detailed meeting venue, open to a variety of groups.

The Business Plan for the Barn will be developed in conjunction with our partners and based, in part, on the successful repurposing of the Simpson Barn in Johnston. That barn is run in the black by the City of Johnston Parks & Recreation Dept. Rental fees support an annual $40k budget. The rate they charge of $45/hour for private use is substantially below market, yet enough to cover operating and maintenance costs.

The extent of the repurpose of the Maplenol Barn will depend on future funding. Some examples of possible uses for the facility include the following:

  • Sports Rallies
  • Programming for Visual and Performing Arts
  • Professional Association Meetings
  • Special Events such as reunions and outdoor movie nights on the lawn
  • Presidential Caucus Forums

We do not want to burden another group like the district with the job of saving the an historic barn.