BY WHITNEY FENZEL AND BRAD RACINO
At a preliminary public meeting to discuss the rebuilding of the Maplewood Barn Community Theatre, two well-developed options for reconstruction were presented, and theater enthusiasts and Columbia citizens were encouraged to voice their opinions.
Lyria Bartlett, adjunct instructor in the Department of Architectural Studies at MU, along with two MU senior architecture students, Rashad Abdul-Majid and John Bohlmeyer, volunteered their time over the summer to develop preliminary drawings for the new Maplewood Barn.
Bartlett expressed her wish to “enhance the park…and still continue with the feeling of coming to the Maplewood Barn Theatre.”
Members of the Board of Directors of the Maplewood Barn Association, along with Bartlett and her students, proposed two slightly differing design options, both of which aim to:
- Minimize traffic noise from Highway 63 and Ponderosa Street
- Use “sustainable practices” throughout the building process
- Use local building materials purchased locally
- Reduce distraction from light sources
- Include indoor plumbing and a private changing room
After listing what the two options have in common, Bartlett discussed the advantages of each:
Option A would maintain the historical location and replicate the exterior structure of the original barn, adding a slight roof extension.
Option B would be 8-12 feet lower than Option A, generating more of an “amphitheater feeling,” which would reduce noise. “Some would call it the less historic side. It depends how you look at it,” Bartlett said.
Mike Griggs, Park Services Manager at Columbia’s Parks and Recreation Department, said funding for the project will come from three main sources:
- City insurance from the April fire
- Theater Association fundraisers
- Park sales tax
Ideally, contributions from all three sources would exceed $300,000.
Voting will begin online at 8 a.m. on Sept. 1 and continue through Sept. 27. Families can submit up to three surveys here.