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Classic Barn To Become Community Center
Imagine the possibilities of turning an old, beautiful, two story brick barn into a place where community kids, youth groups and other organizations can meet, hold dances or just have fun.
That's what Joanne Stoos, of Faribault, Minn., is trying to do.
The classic barn on the Stoos' property is filled with potential. It's a clay tile structure with a beautiful gothic ceiling. The loft has a solid maple floor measuring approximately 2,700 square feet. Dances were held in the barn during the 1930's, including appearances by Lawrence Welk.
Stoos wants to bring that magic and charm back to the barn. However, it's her daughter Jackie's dream that she is trying to fulfill. For it was Jackie who fell in love with the barn and saw the amazing potential it had.    Jackie Reichert, Stoos' daughter, was killed in a car-train accident in 1994. A sophomore at Bethlehem Academy in Faribault, she was involved in youth government, S.A.D.D. (Students Against Drunk Driving) and in the school's youth ministry program.
"Jackie felt that kids should have a place to go where they felt safe, and could socialize without the pressures of drugs or alcohol," Stoos pointed out. "The last five years since the accident have been really hard on everyone and, although it is going to be painful for me at some points along the way, I think that now is the time to start pursuing Jackie's dream."
The barn, nestled in the country 9 miles southeast of Faribault, rests on 7-1/2 acres of land among beautiful oak trees in a wooded setting. Stoos has big plans for remodeling the interior of the barn. There will be a kitchen and snack bar, bathroom and elevator, as well as handicapped entrances and exits. "The barn, to be called Oak Knoll Conference Center, will be available for all ages, but catering to youth. It will be opened to chaperoned groups only."
Stoos says about $100,000 needs to be raised to cover costs of remodeling the barn and bringing it up to code. The center is a non-profit organization and monetary gifts to it are tax deductible, says Stoos.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Joanne Stoos, Oak Knoll Center, 25665 Falk Ave., Faribault, Minn. 55021 (ph 507 334-6670). (Reprinted from The Land)

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1999 - Volume #23, Issue #5