Feb. 9, 2012Vol. 42, Issue 4

Raising the Barn at Patrick Ranch: A Community Project

Members of the community and CSU, Chico students and faculty are stepping in to help build a three-story, 2,500-square-foot barn (pdf) on the last three weekends in April, beginning on April 13. The finished structure will greatly increase the public’s access to the ranch.

patrick ranch logoNumerous departments across campus and several segments of the community are collaborating to make the Patrick Ranch Blitz Build a success. Building the barn was selected as the University’s 125th Celebratory Community Outreach Project. Such a huge undertaking would not be possible without the extensive collaboration, contributions, and partnerships among the University and the community, the Far West Heritage Association, Rotary Club of Chico, Valley Contractors Exchange, and Tri Counties Bank. Jim O’Bannon, Construction Management, one of the faculty advisors of the project, said, “This is the first time we’ve undertaken a community service project where community partners are taking the lead with contributions and participation. A construction management student, Lauren Cowden, will lead a team of students from the College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Construction Management who will provide overall management of the project. She and her team will work with community partners to coordinate all activities for the project.”

“The participation in the building itself is unique for us in terms of past community service projects,” said Cowden. “We are in the planning stages now, meeting weekly with our three major partners, ordering materials, planning the logistics of all of the things needed for this project. The barn will be constructed over three weekends, with two shifts per day of approximately 25 students and 25 community volunteers. Two meals will be provided each shift. The scale of the project is both challenging and very exciting.”

The money for all of the logistics—tents, wiring, bathrooms, and food—is being donated. Valley Contractors Exchange, Rotary Club, and Tri Counties Bank are each providing financial contributions—in addition, volunteers from these groups are preparing and serving meals and providing multiple teams to assist with construction. Howard Slater of Howard Slater and Sons; Pat Conroy, Conroy Construction; and Gage Chrysler, Modern Building Company, will provide onsite mentoring and guidance to the students and community volunteers.

Historically, constructing a barn or other large outbuilding was too difficult for one farmer, so the entire community would come together to help. The Patrick Ranch Blitz Build is keeping that tradition alive.  After the construction management teams and community volunteers are finished raising the barn, there will still be a need for volunteers to paint and provide finishing work. Interested people can contact the Patrick Ranch Museum.

The Patrick Ranch played a central role in Chico during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and the new barn will ensure that the Patrick Ranch Museum continues to thrive and helps keep the spirit of Chico’s past alive.

For more information on the project, contact Jim O’Bannon.

—Sheri Gitelson, intern, Public Affairs and Publications, with Kathleen McPartland, Public Affairs and Publications