Hayden It may not look like much now, but an old pile of barn wood south of Hayden will be turned into a new home for the Hayden Heritage Center's new agriculture exhibits.
For the past two weeks, a crew of four high school students and four college students have been working to take apart a historic barn that was used to store grain. The barn was donated by the Holderness family.
"What better building to house our agricultural heritage than an old granary," museum curator Laurel Watson said Thursday, when the crew and board members celebrated the completion of the barn's deconstruction.
Taking apart the barn cost about $78,000, and most of that cost was covered by a grant from the Babson Carpenter Foundation.
In the next couple of years, the museum hopes to raise $500,000 to put the barn back together and add a bathroom, elevator and loft area.
The National Center for Craftsmanship, based in Fort Collins, was hired to carry out the deconstruction. The nonprofit focuses on workforce career development for youth and adults.
"We basically invented deconstruction as an educational tool," said NCC Executive Director Neil Kaufman, who supervised the work.
He said the work was labor intensive, and workers used mostly hand tools and small power tools.
Kaufman said it was great to see older youth mentoring and working alongside high school students.
"It's what you're looking for in this educational environment," Kaufman said.
Yoli Cooper Zars, who will be a junior at Hayden High School, was one of the students who did the work.
"It's a hard job, but it's awesome and fun," she said. "You get to learn a lot about older buildings in this area."
The barn deconstruction was a unique project for NCC, and Kaufman hopes it is not the last.
Fortunately, the crew was working with a sturdy building.
"We had a good talk with the building before we started and asked it to come down gently and safely," Kaufman said. "This thing was built to last."
While in Routt County, Kaufman toured the historic Butterfly Barn near the Steamboat Ski Area, which is in danger of collapsing.
The Butterfly Barn is not as structurally sound as the Hayden Barn was, but Kaufman thinks it could be successfully deconstructed and reconstructed with new structural elements.
"We could do it," Kaufman said. "We would just have to do it differently."
To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland