A student gathering place

The Barn, a new social gathering space for Wake Forest students, will officially open on campus September 1. Tucked into the woods within easy walking distance of residence halls, the approximately 6,000 square-foot building will be a venue for student-planned activities.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony, featuring remarks by Wake Forest President Nathan O. Hatch, and tours of the building for the campus community will be held at 2 p.m. Vice President and Dean for Student Life Kenneth Zick and Student Government President Nilam Patel will also present remarks. 

From concerts to comedy nights, the facility will be flexible enough for hosting small gatherings and larger events for up to 650 people. Student organizations and Reynolda Campus departments can reserve the space throughout the academic year for student-centered events such as receptions, dances, cookouts, parties and movie screenings. Events already scheduled include a trivia night for first-year students, an East Asian Cultural Festival and more than 50 other activities.

“Our aim is to create an exciting campus life environment,” said Zick. “The building is one piece of an overall plan to strengthen campus life and increase community vibrancy. We responded to requests from student leaders for a new, informal, versatile indoor space for social activities.”

“The Barn is a very exciting addition to our university,” said Patel, who expects the space to have a positive impact on student culture. “I’m looking forward to seeing increased collaboration and communication between student organizations, and the added space this venue will provide will bring more events onto campus.”

The large, open space has a vaulted ceiling, pine walls and four 8-by-8-foot glass doors leading to a 600-square-foot covered porch. A stage provides space for bands and other performers or speakers. The area is equipped with an HD projector, a large screen and a sound system.  The building also has a second-level mezzanine, a catering kitchen, a bar area, restrooms, storage closets and a small office.

Designed to meet LEED Silver standards, The Barn is the first building on campus to feature solar electric PV cells. Installed by Volt Energy, the 16 panels are expected to produce 4825 kW-h of clean solar energy per year. The panels will offset the energy consumed by lights and the 10-foot ceiling fans used to help cool the space.

A well-lit path connects the facility with the central area of campus. Emergency call boxes are placed along the pathway.

The building was designed by Walter, Robbs, Callahan & Pierce Architects.

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