Barn raising for a cause


Workers were onsite this week for the raising of a barn for Island Autism, a planned new center to help Islanders with autism and other related disorders.

The barn is part of the first phase of Island Autism’s campus; phase one is expected to be completed by January. 

Island Autism Group co-founder and executive director Kate DeVane said she’s excited the facility is coming together. She says the barn will be used for day programming at the center, including afterschool or summer programming, job training, and recreational activities. It will also be used to house farm equipment. The center already has 75 chickens, and is considering getting goats, sheep, and possibly a donkey.

The second phase of the project — which will include housing — could begin before the year is out, depending on funding. DeVane said they are trying to square away funding for the first phase before putting the second phase into action. She says they need another $500,000 before Thanksgiving for the first phase. 

In total, they’ve raised about a half of the money needed for the $12 million project.