WHAT IS A MAKERSPACE?
To describe them simply, makerspaces are community centers that operate much like a gym, but instead of exercise equipment there are tools, and instead of trying to get fit, people are there to learn a new skill, develop or scale up a business idea, gain credentialing for employment mobility or career transition, or to simply tinker, fix, or repair everyday household items.
The GALA Community Makerspace will combine community, education, and equipment that provide participants the opportunity, place, and peer collaboration to design and create projects that may otherwise not be possible with the resources available to someone working alone. It will also provide collaborative space and resources such as a tool library and repair cafe for learning, engaging with hobbies, or simply fixing or up-cycling things that may otherwise be destined for the landfill.
Also driving the GALA Community Makerspace is the potential for this community-building hub to play a key role in substance misuse prevention, workforce development, waste reduction, and adding to self-propelled educational opportunities – some of the state’s most urgent challenges – by equipping participants with practical skills, training, specialized tools and equipment, and creative competencies that strengthen job creation and retention. GALA is collaborating with key players in the state such as community colleges and government agencies to leverage and expand the reach of their programs.
In a nutshell, the full project timeline outlined in the Strategic Plan, including renovations and corresponding organizational benchmarks, is as follows:
2019: Complete schematic design for renovation Phases 1 & 2, complete design development and construction documents for Phase 1, develop capital campaign strategy, and cultivate volunteer leadership on the board and committees.
2020: Bid and procure contractor, begin Phase 1 renovations, hire part-time staff to support fundraising, launch capital campaign silent phase, develop new website and marketing materials, and rollout pre-membership program.
2021: Accumulate tools and equipment, complete Phase 1 renovations, complete capital campaign silent phase and launch public phase, begin initial programming, and ramp up membership outreach.
2022: Conclude capital campaign, ramp up programs and services, including workforce training, build maker shops, and begin Phase 2 design development.