Since the barn moved over a year ago, a few times a month, some messages like this come in through the contact form, email, or the Facebook page:
Can you update me on the barn? I know it’s location, but who owns it and what is the intended purpose? Thanks!
What we know:
Julia has requested statements of Valley Church staff since July 1, 2011 by phone and email. No response seems to be the response. She usually sends inquirers the Valley Church contact info, but no one has reported back that they got through to someone. Leave a comment here if you were able to get church staff to respond!
The district sold a public property, the Maplenol Dairy Barn, to a private party. Valley Church owns it and intends to use it for equipment storage with its Upward Sports programming (as of June 2011). From the School Board minutes, we can read the statement that Brennan read aloud for details. (If you read the minutes, remember that they are minutes, not a professionally-edited storybook. Scroll down to Item VIII.) Supplemental statements from the church (and every non-district entity) about the barn have not appeared online, but most likely still exist somewhere in hardcopy. An excerpt from Brennan on the current owner and use of the Maplenol Dairy Barn:
The Valley Church has the land, the use and the funds to use this building. While its use as a storage site may not be what some have envisioned for the barn, it is still going to be put to use, it will still be in the community and it will have a home.
The piece that you’ll probably find many Maplenol barn lovers disappointed about is that Brennan’s “in the community” is not the same as “available to the public.” All historic preservationists have congratulated barn lovers as being “winners” in the Save the Barn campaign –
- The barn was not demolished
- The barn is still in West Des Moines (probably what Brennan meant)
- It’s (barely) visible from the street