Making Progress!

These past two months, the team has been working on dialing in on the administrative and logistical aspects of the project.Through conversation with donors, Alumni Affairs, the Cornell Agricultural Experiment Station, and student managers of Dilmun Hill Farm, we have created a united effort to tackle the more complex aspects of the project. Transparency throughout this process is essential to keeping all bodies educated and to allow the barn’s construction to go as smoothly and as quickly as possible.

Between the crowd-funding campaign and the very generous donations we received from alumni, the potential and excitement for the Barn Project is rising with every day. Now, we are working with facilities and administration to ensure that the project not only lives up to, but also exceeds the expectations of both the Cornell community and our donors. It was noted in our last meeting that thanks to these generous gifts, we have the opportunity to look at the project differently and facilitate future expansion through these first phases of construction.

Plans could be kept the same or could be evolved.

The original architectural plans for Phase 1 were designed to allow for future add-ons in Phases 2 and 3 of the project. Now that we potentially have the funds to construct more than just the first phase when we begin breaking ground, the design can be approached differently. Just from the crowdfunding alone, our student architects can now consider the potential for bigger windows, interior and exterior lighting, and/or insulation for the larger room (laid out in phase 1).

Before construction can begin, the code classifications of the facility must be determined by either a facilities engineer or an outside consultant. This will ensure that the barn meets all of the standards for safety and health. Given the nature of the space as both a place for tractor and produce storage, in addition to community gatherings, there are specific regulations that need to be met. Fortunately, we now have the team and resources in place to properly carry out this routine construction step.

After our last CALS administrative meeting, our main take away and goal was to clearly lay out a plan with cost requirements that includes not only the upfront construction cost, but also the expenses for consultants and long term maintenance. We will collect our data on project costs and articulate it in a concise way, similar to our phasing plan.  It was also crucial that we finalized our renderings of the barn (featured above) so that they can be presented during site plan approval meetings. This will allow the consulting contract and the Capital Funding Priorities Committee (CFPC) and the Building & Properties (B&P) approval to go through in a more timely manner. Our timeline anticipates that hopefully, both meetings will be completed by the end of August. In September, we will work with the university group to incorporate the Barn Project into the campus master plan. Pending on the success of this timeline, site selection could be done by October.

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