However, just as the city opened the barn, COVID-19 hit, so there hasn’t been as much use of the barn as they would have liked, Chodkowski said.
“We’re hopeful that now with the restrictions coming off, in June that some folks are going to take an interest in using it and try to take advantage of it while it’s here,” Chodkowski said.
Huber Heights made about $100,000 worth of improvements to the barn, including adding a sound system that can be taken out when the property sells and some garden games, like cornhole.
Chodkowski said the city will eventually sell the land to a developer, as they have with previous projects. This is not the first time the city has held land until a developer buys it, but Chodkowski said it is the first time to his knowledge the city is trying anything like the barn project.
He said the barn project will help the community because it helps quality of life in the city. Nonprofits who work in the community get marketing and attention to their organization.
“They, in turn, invest in Huber Heights. That maintains or improves the quality of life available to our residents,” Chodkowski said. “And that’s why we want people to be able to take advantage of this.”
Sarah Williams, Huber Heights community engagement specialist, said nonprofits need spaces like this one. Williams, who has a background in nonprofits, noted many nonprofits have been hit hard by COVID-19.
Williams said with a lot of nonprofit organizations, donors will give specifically to projects, but not think about operational costs of a nonprofit.
“So being able to have a facility where nonprofits can come and do fundraising events like this, that helps them to not only fund those specific projects that they’re doing, but then also to have those operational dollars that are so essential to the underlying piece of every single one of their missions,” Williams said.