In a year full of milestones for the Barns of Rose Hill, Sunday marked yet another on its path from vision to reality as the organization gathered the faithful for its first annual meeting. The gathering of approximately 50 people met at Grace Episcopal Chapel for a state of the union presentation and to celebrate the accomplishments leading up to the planned opening of the facility this summer. The Barns of Rose Hill, Inc. was formed in September 2004 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization to raise funds for the restoration of the barns and has been a high profile organization in the Clarke County community since its inception.
Chairman of the Board of Directors, Diana Kincannon welcomed everyone to the event and recognized board members, past and present, for their hard work and contributions to the project. She also took a moment to offer special recognition to John Friant Sr., Director Emeritus, who passed away on Jan. 16 at the age of 91. Mr Friant was a long time supported of the barns. Ms. Kincannon said,” He was with us in the early days helping us raise funds and we are sorry that we have lost him and we will miss him.”
The event had the air of a family gathering as Susi Baily narrated a retrospective media presentation that reminded everyone of the journey. It was a trip down memory lane that showed the hard work and joyful times that have marked the path towards completion of the project.
As the presentation moved into photos of the current construction work being performed on site, William Aikens from H&W Construction stepped up to discuss the process and challenges of the project. “The roof has been our biggest challenge,” he said. Images showing the newly installed “catwalk” underscored that challenge. The catwalk is a support structure that runs along the interior ridge line of the building to support the roof and allow for the interior space to be free of support structure. The presentation included images of the installation of that structural element which required extensive crane work. “Each segment of the catwalk weighed 11,000 pounds,” Aikens added.
As the meeting moved towards its conclusion Diana Kincannon was recognized for her tireless efforts in the organization. Ms. Kincannon received a standing ovation as she was presented a dozen yellow roses and a gift certificate to L’Auberage Restautrant. With tears of joy in her eyes Ms Kincannon, said simply, “It’s been an extraordinary experience.”
Afterward when asked about this milestone after her years of work, Ms Kincannon said, “We always knew that failure was not an option, we did know that. So we just kept at it and kept at it until suddenly it’s happened.”
She also noted that fundraising is an ongoing challenge. “Right now we are still focused on fundraising for the furnishings which has to do with film screens, lighting equipment, chairs, stage props, and technology related things. We are focused on the interior items right now.”
The project remains on schedule and is slated to open in June of this year. To contribute to the project visit their website at: barnsofrosehill.org