Curious what’s going on at 23 Bay St.? The former site of Wolfeboro Power Equipment was purchased last fall by local nonprofit Global Awareness Local Action (G.A.L.A.) to establish a Community Makerspace. This milestone was made possible with a grant from the Northern Borders Regional Commission matched by a successful grassroots fundraising campaign.
Wednesday, August 22nd is the public’s chance to contribute to the design of the makerspace by attending G.A.L.A.’s Design Your Own Makerspace! Public Forum & Project Update at the Wolfeboro Town Hall, 5:30-8pm. Makerspaces are popping up all over the country and they each look different based on the local resident’s interest and needs, so this is your chance to share what you would like to see offered at 23 Bay St.
This event is free and open to the public. Light food and refreshments will be provided, as well as a supervised “kids corner” to help make the event more accessible for families. Both year-round residents and visitors alike are encouraged to attend.
Attendees will also be among the first to meet the official design team recently hired by G.A.L.A., the individuals who will have the important job of turning all the survey results and community feedback into a final design for the space. The Design Team is comprised of Leslie Benson, Principal of Leslie Benson Designs; Steve Hoffman, Architect; and Scott Simons Architects (SSA), all based in Portland, Maine.
You do not have to be familiar with the makerspace concept to meaningfully participate in this event. In fact, to the contrary, G.A.L.A. is encouraging people who are still new to the concept to show up to learn more and contribute their ideas. Attendees will be among the first to see results from a community wide survey that was circulated in the spring, and together makes sense of the findings and patterns of interest that have begun surface.
Leading up to this initiative, G.A.L.A. volunteers and staff visited eleven different makerspaces across the northeast to gain an understanding of the different ways makerspaces operate and engage community. In general, makerspaces work like a gym, but instead of exercise equipment there are tools. People show up to learn a new skill, develop or advance a creative hobby, fix or fabricate everyday household items, start or scale up a business idea, gain credentialing for employment mobility or career transition, collaborate with other “makers”.
According to G.A.L.A. Board Member, Amy Gullicksen, the group envisions something that is “more than a makerspace”. They intend to incorporate a tool library, workshops and classes, co-working space, business incubator, workforce development, repair café, appropriate technology design challenges, private and independent work studios, apprentice and mentorship opportunities, and more. They envision a wood-shop, metal-shop, ceramic studio, fiber arts studio, computer lab, automotive bay, bicycle repair bench, laser cutter, and CNC routers and mills, among other tools and work spaces.
For more information contact Josh Arnold at 603-569-1500 or email email@example.com. If you are unable to attend the event but would like to offer your feedback, visit G.A.L.A.’s website to take the makerspace survey at www.galacommunity.org.