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Peterborough

Makerspace group meets Wednesday

PETERBOROUGH — For several months, a group of artists, hobbyists and businesspeople have been talking about ways to bring a makerspace to town — a place that’s open to the community where people could have access to high-end equipment and technology that they might not be able to afford. They’ve held a number of community meetings and conducted a survey that indicates considerable interest, with 14 of the 38 people who responded saying they’d definitely use such a space. And they’ve even identified a possible location for the project, in the large building at 70 Main Street (also known as the Guernsey Professional Building).

Their next step will be to give people a look at that space, during what organizers describe in an email as an “ideas meeting” to be held at 70 Main Street on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

“We’ll all be able to share our ideas and expectations, and the goal is to form a solid and cohesive, practical, easy-to-understand-and-describe vision for the makerspace,” wrote Scott Lumsden of Lyndeborough, one of the group’s organizers.

The meeting is open to anyone.

On Friday, Lumsden said several people involved in planning had visited both the 70 Main Street building, where about 3,500 square feet is available, and the Brookstone Business Center at 9 Vose Farm Road, which has 8,700 square feet for rent.

“We realized that we probably don’t need that much space,” Lumsden said about the Vose Farm Road site.

The Main Street site looks like the best alternative, according to Lumsden.

“The location is perfect, right downtown.”

Lumsden said he had talked to people who run makerspace projects elsewhere in the state, and he found that most of them started out on a small scale.

“Someone needed a place for tools, or they rented a place to put their stuff in,” he said.

The goal of Wednesday’s meeting will be to get feedback.

“Lots of us are into making things. We can see what we would love to have,” said Lumsden. “Now we’re really looking for input from people who would be using the space. We want to really nail down what the most important functions would be. How much arts and crafts stuff, how much electronics and woodworking, and so on.”

At a discussion about makerspaces in May at Bass Hall in Peterborough, Adam Shrey of Makeit Labs, a makerspace site in Nashua, described how his group works. “It’s always evolving, and it’s a real community effort,” Shrey said.

Makeit Labs has a 6,000-square-foot workshop in an old foundry building. Members of the group pay between $40 and $75 a month for access to the space and the equipment, which includes a lift for working on automobiles, a CNC plasma cutter, a laser cutter, welding equipment, a 3D printer and computers. The group runs classes as well, and Shrey said the makerspace has become a social center.

“People come to hang out and have a good time,” Shrey said. “It’s all about sharing information. If you don’t know how to do something, somebody else will be an expert.”

Dave Anderson can be reached at 924-7172, ext. 233 or danderson@ledgertranscript.com. He’s on Twitter at @DaveAndersonMLT.

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