Waukesha County committee takes a step toward Eble Barn demolition

The barn in front of the Eble Ice Arena will be demolished.

The barn in front of the Eble Ice Arena will be demolished. Photo By C.T. Kruger

Aug. 12, 2014

The end of the Eble Barn is in sight.

Waukesha County officials have settled on a candidate for the demolition of the structure at 19400 W. Bluemound Road, immediately south of the Eble Ice Arena.

The county's Public Works Committee will meet Thursday morning at 8:30 a.m. to discuss a bid by Guelig Waste Removal and Demolition LLC to perform services leading to the removal of the barn and its adjacent silo.

Guelig submitted a bid of $32,290, which came in under its two competitors. Waukesha County Director of Parks and Land Use Dale Shaver noted that another factor in the decision was the county's previous work with the company.

"They've done a number of other projects for us in the past and they were the low bid," Shaver said. "So it's a low and responsible bid."

Shaver says that an exact timeline has not yet been set for the barn; however, an approval of Guelig by the committee is an important step in getting one started.

"Once we get the Public Works Committee past the bid process, then we can work with the contractor to set up a definite schedule," Shaver said. "I'm anticipating that it will be in the early fall."

Donated by the family

The barn was donated to Waukesha County by Florence Eble in 1987. She died in 1995, but members of Eble's family made efforts to stop the demolition process and make the barn a part of the county's future plans for the park.

While certain family members remain passionate about the issue, opposition has lessened of late.

"We're disappointed, but I guess we've come to accept it," said Rob Klussendorf, Eble's great-nephew last month. "The writing was on the wall."

Klussendorf and other relatives feel that the barn should remain standing to serve as homage to Waukesha County's rich farming and agricultural history.

"Waukesha County used to be 'Cow County U.S.A.,'" he said. "There were more cows per square mile than any other county. With that barn going, it loses part of that history."

The county will be setting aside materials that can be picked up by the family as mementos.

A memorial structure

"I suspect that this vendor will be very responsive in coordinating something with us and the family," Shaver said. "We'll organize an actual schedule and a day when people can come and get (the materials)."

In addition to allowing Eble's family to take the souvenirs home, Shaver says that the county is also discussing plans to provide remembrance for the barn in Eble Park with a new structure, such as a gazebo, to be built from leftover barn materials.

"We've identified some wood, some beams, and some stonework and at some point what we will do is come back with a proposed project," Shaver said.

Citizens can go to WaukeshaCountyParks.com and fill out a survey suggesting future desires for parks in Waukesha County.

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