TL;DRWe are considering a new physical space, but need members to commit. Q&A session is Thursday, June 22. Lack of members by Monday, June 26 will mean we cease looking for a physical space in order to concentrate solely on group projects, library classes, social nights and all the other cool stuff we do as a virtual makerspace.
Almost a year ago we set some goals around membership commitments and cash in the bank that would allow us to pursue a space that met our criteria. We haven’t had much success reaching those goals for a hypothetical space. We have done a lot of cool projects in spite of this, but the search for a space and the members to fund it has been a constant drain on our directors’ time.
The New Proposal
So we have changed gears ever so slightly and have a specific space to propose to you. It compromises a bit on the square footage we were looking for but it hits all the other requirements we wanted in a space. The price is also reasonable enough that we can set a lower number for membership commitments. The space is approximately 625 square feet, rather than the 1000+ we were initially looking for but the rental cost on this place is only $650. Adding in our insurance and utilities expenses the total monthly cost will come in under $1000.
I’m sure you want to know a bit about this space. Here is a slideshow with photos and some details:
The space is centrally located on the peninsula, close to Windsor and Quinpool. Therefore it has decent transit, biking, and walking access. There is not a dedicated parking lot but there is plenty of on-street parking during evenings and weekends. The space is already subdivided in a way that should be pretty conducive to our needs of having a room for woodworking, a room we can equip with ventilation for laser cutting and 3d printing, and a large room for general work and workshops. Access to the unit is on the ground floor and is not shared with any other units, so we can build and install our own keycard system. (This might be one of the first, fun group projects when we get into the space.)
Tools and Equipment
We don’t anticipate difficulty in stocking the space with tools and equipment. We have much in storage, and have had offers of a lot more that we just couldn’t take due to lack of space. We anticipate moving into the space having:
- Full soldering stations
- Misc parts bins
- Bench power supplies
- Modest silkscreening setup
- Sewing machine
- Mini fridge
Higher tech stuff
- Table saw
- Drill press
- Skill saw
- Jig saw
- Chop saw
- Drills and drivers
- Basic hand tools
...and we will happily build on this as demand dictates.
The Goal and Deadline
To cover our monthly expenses means we need 20 people to commit at the $50/month level. This gets you 24hr access to the space (though there might be late night restrictions on noisier equipment). As we mentioned before there is an initial signup fee equal to 1-month of membership. That bit of cash combined with existing money in the bank will give us a buffer of two months of operating expenses. We are also still open to a partial membership of $25/month that will allow you access to the space a minimum of 2 times a week; with a schedule to be set later for those open times. Everyone signing up at the $25/month level will move us 0.5 towards our goal of 20.
Given that this space is up on the market now and could be rented at anytime we are putting a short timeframe to move on this. We need to hear back from you by end of day on Monday, June 26th
, but ideally we are hoping you will decide quickly and get back to us. We will apply to lease the space as soon as the goal is reached.
Because we have changed the goals and expectations slightly we want anyone who is ready to commit to this space to email us, even if you have already committed to the previous goals
. You can do so by emailing email@example.com
. Give us your name, phone number and whether you are committing at the $50 or $25 level.
If you have any questions before committing you can email us, come by sometime during a Q&A session on Thursday, June 22 6:30pm-8:30pm at Halifax Central Library Room 301A, or join us for our regularly scheduled Social Night on Saturday, June 24th 7pm-9pm at Uncommon Grounds cafe on South Park St.
What Happens at the Deadline?
If we hit our goal of 20 we will immediately fill out a rental application, even if that is before the deadline. If the space is rented to someone else by the time we reach our goals we will make our best effort to find a similar space soon after. The plan that we accepted at the last AGM is reaching the end of the year we committed to. So this is our last kick at the can for pursuing a space. If you want to see this happen the time is now. If we do not reach our goal, we will continue to do fun projects out of members’ houses, teach courses at the library, etc., but we will cease trying to make a physical space a reality in order to concentrate our resources on making this “virtual makerspace” prosper.
Please don’t delay. Please forward this email to any people or groups you think would be interested in supporting us.
Yours in making,
Halifax Makerspace directors