Retirement Never Looked This Good

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Greenaway Farm

Barn Highlights
• 42 x 132 x 16 stall barn with 10 x 132 and 10 x 60 leans, and a 70 x200 x 16 indoor arena.
• Stall barn finished on the interior with tongue and groove, RLC trusses with lined ceiling and Classic 3500 Series stalls.
• Exterior finishing includes split slide doors with glass, ½ round end windows and Dutch doors.
• “People spaces” include lower level lounge, restrooms and kitchenette along with upper level 1,200-square-foot office, lounge, kitchen and laundry.

On 110 acres of lush green fields and gently sloping tree-lined hills, Cindy and Frank Cosentino are living the dream they’d cherished for years.

Greenaway Farm near Alexandria, Ohio, is home to a few “retired” race horses, but it primarily serves as the family’s private haven for training and riding their own horses.

Greenaway horse barn and arenaThe jewel in the crown that is Greenaway is a 10-stall horse barn and arena built by Wick Buildings and MRM Services, Inc. in 2008 and 2009. The project was honored this year by the National Frame Building Association as a winner in the 2009 Buildings of the Year contest in the category Horse Barns Over 10,000 Square Feet.

Contractor Mike Moore, a Wick Buildings dealer in Johnstown, Ohio, for about 10 years, gained expertise in the central Ohio equine facility market in part because, he says, “My wife is a professional horse jumper/rider. So in this Central Ohio area they think we know something about barns because of my wife.”

As it happens, Moore does know something about horse barns. In fact, he knows a lot.

“Horse barns are our specialty,” he said, “It’s most of what we do anymore.” Another big part of what MRM does is ag fencing, horse fencing and floors. The business supports both a building crew and a fencing crew.

So when the Cosentinos were ready to build their dream barn, they turned to Moore and Wick.

The stuff of dreams
The Cosentinos had been boarding their horses for several years before saddling up and starting their own project. An old barn on the newly-purchased acreage needed to be torn down. As long as they were building a new one, they decided to go “all the way” and make it the project of their dreams.

One aspect of the place that Cindy Cosentino loves is the brightness and openness of the barn.

“We have very large doors with huge windows,” she said, “so even in winter it’s bright at all times.”

Greenaway Farm equine barn constructionThat seems appropriate. One of Greenway’s purposes is the rehabilitation of “retired” race horses through a non-profit group called New Vocations (www.horseadoption.com) that retrains racers to be pleasure horses. Cosentino takes them in, a couple at a time, when they’ve left the track. Some have had surgery or an injury that needs to heal. Some just need pasture time.

So the quiet, bright, relaxing atmosphere at Greenaway is appropriate for the facility’s rest and recuperation (R&R)  aspects. The horses stay three or four months before they’re released to new homes.

“One boy was so thin when he came to us,” said Cosentino. “He hadn’t been taken care of…but he looked so charming when he left.”

While the horses live at Greenaway, they get the luxury of a 14-x 14- or 14- x 16-foot Classic Equine stall, with large yoke areas in the doors. The horses can look around and see their neighbors without bumping their heads, Cosentino said.

She also mentions appreciating the automatic waterers they installed, and, she says she loves the wood they used in the facility.

A work in progress
So pleased with the brightness of the barn, the owners are in the process of enlarging the arena windows. And they’ve added new white fencing to the property, enclosing the entire 110 acres.

 Moore thinks it was the couple’s wish to make the best use of their space that convinced them to select post-frame construction — as well as the price of steel which was skyrocketing at the time the Cosentinos began their project. Moore figures steel frame construction in the same project would have cost ten to 15 percent more

And, he says, “I seriously believe it was as simple as saying, ‘You’d lose four feet in your 70-foot building.  There’d be a lot of wasted space there ….’” So post-frame got the nod.

Cosentino admits that the vision changed a bit as the project moved along. The couple added an apartment that now is completely furnished. She said she and her husband move into it when the house is full of guests.

While she hopes to do more entertaining in the future, Cosentino said they’ve hosted some gatherings there, including a small concert that she planned to honor her husband.

Greenaway Farm horse barn constructionWith a project of this magnitude, said Steve Bohlman, vice president of sales and marketing with Wick Buildings in Mazomanie, Wis., Wick crews are called on to erect the frame. Then it’s turned over to the local Wick contractor for finishing.

For the Greenaway project, three Wick crews showed up with many loads of materials and the massive structure was framed in two to three weeks. Then, recalls Moore, “the weather went gangbusters on us.” The October days, which should have offered ideal conditions, were drenched with rain.

“The whole pad turned to mud,” said Moore, “and we were at a standstill all winter. We picked up in spring. Weather-wise, it was a nightmare.”

Fortunately, there were no other challenges or obstacles to overcome. Other than the weather, the project went smoothly.

A job well done
The building, says Moore, is situated well on the property, although nine feet of grade had to be taken out of a hillside and the whole area evened out.

Moore was pleased with his Building of the Year win at the NFBA’s annual Expo this year.  “It was the first time we’d ever turned one in” (for Building of the Year judging), he says.  And while some of the finer details don’t show up in photographs, he thinks the finish options that cinched the win include the rubber pavers in the stalls and wash rack, and the lounge area details.

Greenaway Farm horse stalls construction“The lounge and feed room — it’s nicer than my kitchen,” says Moore. He laughs, but he’s serious as he talks about the details, including special horse-motif hardware on the oak cabinetry.

“I might be biased,” he says, “but I think it’s spectacular.”

Challenging for its sheer size, the Greenaway project enjoys a beautiful outcome,” Moore says. “When you have a good outcome, you feel good.”

Moore is currently working on a new project that he hopes will be another winner.  “We’re buried in work,” he says, and thanks to this huge new project, he’s optimistic about the economic climate and the future.

Cosentino, too, is looking toward the future in the place where she spends seven days a week. She wants to continue to rehabilitate the horses, and is thinking of adding an “equine nursing home” element to the operation.

However, she admits she’s a little apprehensive about that aspect, where aged horses live out their days in peace and comfort.

Her hesitation? “I know I’d get attached to them,” Cosentino said.

Also in this issue of Frame Building News:

More ways to get the job done: New Product profiles

Got good barn stuff? Here’s everything a great barn is made of

The Next Phase of Green Building:

The International Green Construction Code and what it means

Fencing gets a second look
LifeTime eco-friendly wood alternative suits this farm

Framing the Future

2011 Expo theme showcaes opportunity

Prize-Winning Plan
It helps to know local realtors, says RAM Buildings manager-designer

Progress takes center stage
Perma-Column, Schweiss, Weyerhaeuser, others in the news

Frame Building Industry News
Companies and organizations in the news

NFBA offers free 6-session course
Diaphragm design concepts for post-frame buildings systems

Promoting commercial post-frame construction

Educating students is key to future growth, success

You may also be interested in:

The Complete Horse Barn Builder CD
By the Editors of Rural Builder

Complete Horse Barn Builder CD
This CD features informative articles about creating a practical and professional place for your horses to call home.
    •    28 stories about horse barn projects
    •    Veterinary facilities
    •    Practical barn design
    •    Ventilation, insulation guidelines
    •    Stalls, flooring and fencing

For more info

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