An iconic, dilapidated barn on Concord Pike will be soon be spiffed up thanks to the persistent nudging of a local councilman.
New County Councilman Bob Weiner announced that Wilmington University – which owns and is developing a new campus on the property at the corner of Route 202 and Beaver Valley Road – will improve the condition of the old “Red Barn,” with work that will begin this month and be completed by the end of April.
Weiner said that after a meeting between the County Land Use Department and representatives of Wilmington University the school agreed to make extensive repairs to the barn’s roof, gutters, exterior door closures, siding and windows. The new construction will then receive a fresh coat of paint.
“This is good news, but it is only a first step,” said Weiner, citing Wilmington University’s earlier commitment to repurpose the historic one room school house and Red Barn for community benefit. Weiner said the approval of the school’s proposal to build a campus on the site was conditioned on those fixes, in addition to other commitments.
“Some of the other voluntarily agreed to conditions included publicly dedicated pathways, architectural excellence, shifting eighty percent of its class scheduling out of morning and evening rush hours, and interconnectivity with the adjoining retail for the convenience of both students and our community,” said Weiner.
Weiner said the former corn field, zoned for high density use, had initially been slated for development and community resistance to that proposal led to the Wilmington University plans. “The community opted to support the Wilmington University campus proposal because it was a good transitional use into our First State National Park and an appropriate attractive “gateway” entry into Delaware from Pennsylvania.”