Letter: Barn could be wonderful community centerpiece | VailDaily.com

Letter: Barn could be wonderful community centerpiece

I have an idea for the use of the barn. This question is a heated one with Avon taxpayers. I am not an Avon taxpayer but I am a long time Vail Valley resident and I have an idea of how the barn could become the community center piece of the great Vail Valley community. 

A newly-renovated and modernized barn would be warm and welcoming and reflect that great energy that makes you want to “hang out there.” It would offer comfortable sofas, chairs and tables, all on wheels, all movable to create interactive “social pods” where you would gather with friends for the likes of book clubs, discussion groups, non-profit gatherings, chess clubs, innovation groups, meetings, — the list is endless of great ways to get together.

This is a space that teenagers can gather after school and do their homework together and collaborate on school work and projects. Mentors and tutors could be available to help with projects, homework or just someone with whom to talk out ideas. Weekends it could be available for special events. This is just a few of the many ways we can use this space.

I have lived here for 33 years and I still love this community. It is no secret that it is very expensive to live here! We all work hard to support our lives here and our community stretches over 40 miles from Vail to Dotsero and we have no central place for us to gather together.

The “Happy Valley” as we are otherwise known is experiencing an epidemic of addiction, suicide, loneliness and isolation. Research has shown that we thrive when we feel connected, supported and encouraged. This epidemic of mental health conditions can be a result of feeling disconnected from those that care for us — among many other reasons.  A well thought out, community collective space could provide a venue for those suffering to connect with others.

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I see this as an incredible opportunity for the town of Avon, which is designated an “economic incentive” community to partner with the private community. It could be designated as a nonprofit organization, providing incentive for private partnership funding. This all needs to be explored in much more detail, but there are opportunities for creative future funding and economic sustainability for a vital and vibrant community collective space.

Whether you are for or against saving the barn, I passionately believe that our community is in desperate need of an interactive, intergenerational gathering space that provides a sense of community, collaboration, connection, curiosity and communication for now and the future generations of our growing community.

Anna Menz


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