Barn Renovation

Preserving Heritage: NECC’s Vision for the Historic Barn

In the heart of the Nepal Education and Cultural Center’s (NECC) 16.83-acre property, a piece of history stands quietly — a barn that dates back to the 1930s, with roots reaching back to the 1800s when it served as part of a thriving dairy farm. Now, NECC envisions breathing new life into this historic structure, transforming it into a multifunctional space that aligns with their mission of promoting Nepali language and culture.

Historical Significance: The barn, originally built as a double corn crib barn with sheds on both sides, witnessed the evolution of the land from a bustling dairy farm in the 1800s to its current state. Over the years, it has served various purposes, including functioning as a machine shed and storage space. Recognizing its historical value, the Montgomery County Historic Preservation Commission (MC HPC) has recommended repairs to ensure the preservation of this piece of local history.

Architectural Features: The single-story barn spans an impressive 3,100 square feet, featuring three distinct sections — a central area and two sheds on either side. The unique topography of the site results in split floor levels across the sections, presenting both challenges and opportunities for adaptive reuse. The foundation, a shallow concrete or stone structure, has shown signs of deterioration in some areas. The timber post and truss system form the superstructure, with vertical plank siding enclosing the building. Single-pane windows, farm double swing doors, and sliding barn doors contribute to its rustic charm.

NECC’s Vision: NECC has set ambitious yet achievable goals for the barn’s future. The plan includes repair, rebuilding, and repurposing to transform the space into a versatile hub that aligns with NECC’s mission. The primary objective is to utilize the barn as a gathering space for the Center’s events, hosting workshops and classes that promote Nepali language and culture, as well as community activities for Nepalese Americans, Asian Pacific Islanders, and other local county residents.

Project Overview: The project, estimated to cost between $250.00-$300 per square foot, encompasses design, construction, and furnishing costs. Under the guidance of NECC’s Project Manager, the cost estimate will be meticulously managed and continuously updated throughout the design process to ensure adherence to the overall project scope and budget.

The project delivery method involves a design bid build, with a Construction Manager (CM) playing a crucial role during design for constructability. Alternatively, NECC is exploring the design-build approach to maximize efficiency.

Timeline and Anticipated Occupancy: With a planned duration of three years, NECC envisions the barn’s completion and occupancy in September 2026, coinciding with their anniversary. The Project Manager will oversee the project schedule, ensuring it aligns with the design decisions, maintains budgetary constraints, and fulfills the overall project scope.

NECC’s endeavor to rejuvenate this historic barn is not just a physical restoration but a commitment to preserving cultural heritage and fostering community engagement. As the project unfolds, it stands as a testament to NECC’s dedication to its mission and the enduring value of connecting the past with the present for future generations.

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