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The Barn Farewell Celebration

Many visitors walked down memory lane as they entered through the front doors of the Barn Recreation Center for the very last time.

“I just loved getting together with my friends and peers without spending a lot of money, the only other time that we could get together was at church or at school so it was really a good gathering place,” said Judy Derpack, Class of 1972 at Naperville Community High School.

The Naperville Park District held a Barn Farewell Celebration saying goodbye to a staple in the community before it will be torn down in July to make way for a new $8 million development.

“I don’t know what they’re going to call the new structure, my understand is that this site will be more maintenance and they are building the community center some place else,” said George Bussey, President of the Youth Board in 1964 for the Barn.

Visitors bidding a farewell got a lasting experience as they heard from bands that played at the Barn more than 40 years ago and watched the opening of the time capsule, which was placed in a vault 51 years ago.

In it, was Naperville Community High School’s senior yearbook, a 1965 map of Naperville, lists of students and parents who helped create the Barn and the Beetles album.

And while it’s a bittersweet time for many of the residents who spent their younger days in this barn, they know that the change will be a good addition to the community.

“It’s just a month away so, we have to be grateful that the park district has been so successful and that it does has funding to put up this brand new facility and so that’s good because many communities are strapped for money,” said Carolyn Lauing Fitzer, Class of 1965 of Naperville Community High School Member.

“I just hope that the community center gets as used as many ways and as fruitful of a outcome as this place has for the last 50 years,” said Bussey.


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