Debut Concert Pushes Barns Construction to the Wire

With only fifteen days to go before the Barns of Rose Hill officially opens, project manager Stan Kerns brushes aside any concern that work crews may not finish in time.

“There will be a team working this weekend and I’m not worried about being ready to open” Kerns calmly says. “I’m sure that there will be a few punch list items that will still have to be taken care of but we’ll be ready for the public.”

Clarke County High School's Class of 1965 purchased a customized brick to support the Barns of Rose Hill - Photo Edward Leonard

The First Barns Blues Bash featuring The Millwood Blues Week All Stars: Danny Knicely, Scott Ainslie, Ralph Gordon, Danny Gotham, and Rob Soper will be held Friday July 15 at 7:00 pm in the Great Hall. As of Thursday afternoon work crews were busy preparing the debut event both inside and outside of Clarke County’s soon-to-be art center.

Inside, crews were busy laying tongue-and-groove flooring and installing original weathered barn board paneling on inside walls.  The contrast between the light-colored finished  flooring and the deep toned weathered barn siding provided a strikingly elegant contrast between old and new.

“This new flooring was a  work order change but it was the best money that the Board of Directors spent” Kerns said while pointing out the many fine touches that visitors will be able to admire when the facility opens. “Together with the reused barn siding it just looks really great!”

Kerns also directed a visitor’s attention to several rooms that will be available for meetings and other functions, including catered events.

Personalized bricks ready for insertion into the Barns of Rose Hill walkway - Photo Edward Leonard

“This area will have a sink and water so that food can be easily served to guests” Kerns said describing a ground floor meeting space. “Over here on this wall we will have a mural depicting scenes of Clarke County life.” Upstairs, Kern pointed out a  meeting space with large, southward facing double windows. Nearby, the building’s flagship feature, its Great Hall, will accommodate approximately 170 people and will include a sound booth and a movable stage.

While saws and hammers could be heard inside the Barns of Rose Hill, masons working outside were busy arranging over 600 personalized bricks to create a walkway leading to the building’s entrance.

“These bricks are the culmination of a large campaign to raise money for the project” Kerns said. “I think that as people see how nice the bricks look they will continue to purchase additional bricks.”

“It’s been a very successful fundraiser for the Barns – at $50 a brick with a $30 tax deduction, it was a relatively inexpensive way to show support the project” said Barns executive director Susi Bailey. “Folks have recognized family members, loved ones who have passed away, friends, pets. We also had a very successful “business card” campaign where over 80 businesses have a permanent recognition. The bricks provide a “memorable” patio entrance to the Barns.”

Bailey noted that at least on brick is inscribed in Latin.

According to Bailey the brick campaign has raised over $16,000 for the Barns over three and a half years.  As of July 1 the price of a brick will be $100 with $60 of the amount tax deductible.

As Kerns watched while three masons steadily worked arranging walkway bricks he commented on how pleased he has been with the level of effort from the construction vendor, H&W Construction Company of Frederick County.

“They are a very talented group” Kerns said.  H&W Construction Company was awarded the  $1,259,553 million contract in May, 2010.

Admission to the First Barns Blues Bash  is $20. The concert will be an eclectic mix of Blues, Jazz, and Bluegrass but seating is limited. Reservations are encouraged by calling The Barns of Rose Hill at  540-955-2004.

H&W mason arranges bricks at north entrance to the Barns of Rose Hill - Photo Edward Leonard