When Barron High School students held their annual Homecoming Dance Saturday night, Oct. 7, the event was held at The Church Barn in the town of Barron – possibly the first time a BHS Homecoming dance has taken place off campus.
Barron students joined counselor Linda Mikunda to decorate the barn on Thursday, Oct. 5, and co-owner Billie Church was on hand to help out.
She said the barn has a seating capacity of 270 people
There are a variety of lights available, to change the illumination (and the mood) inside the main part of the building, Church added.
Attached to the ceiling are sets of bright ceiling lights that should outlast the lives of the barn owners, she said.
There are zone switches to dim some of the lights, leaving chandelier lighting hanging from what used to be wagon wheels on the Church property.
The owners tried to keep things rustic looking, while at the same time meeting requirements for the disabled, Church said.
Car siding and repurposed wood is used in the washrooms. Old barn boards were saved to be used in the new structure. A set of windows on either side of the stage came from the old Osterbauer drug store in Rice Lake.
“Jan Matthys had an old barn cupola on his property,” Church said.
She and her husband, Jeff, hung the cupola upside down from the new barn ceiling, and it serves as a chandelier.
A side room is used to store extra tables and chairs.
The bar is equipped with an ice machine and sink, and is flanked by a modern cooler.
The owners decided not to put in a kitchen, instead allowing clients to have their parties catered by vendors in the area.
The owners went to a St. Cloud, Minn., manufacturer for trusses that span the entire width of the barn without having to add posts down the middle of the building, thus opening all of the space underneath, she said.
“We wanted to make this a multi-use place that people can use for weddings, informal parties, banquets and business meetings,” Church said.