Innovation for all: Lacey Makerspace hosts grand opening
Myki Dee Kim, Staff Writer
Located on the edge of campus in Zaverl Hall, the Lacey Makerspace held its grand opening on Wednesday Oct. 16, 2019. Members from the Saint Martin’s community and the greater Olympia area came together to celebrate the opening for themselves. The Lacey Makerspace is a community workshop that promotes innovation and knowledge through projects and learning. The Makerspace houses its own equipment, which includes a laser cutter/engraver, CNC plasma cutter, 3D printers, woodworking, welding, fabric arts, and electronics. With the ability to take classes or even work at your own pace, the Makerspace is a resource that welcomes all to come and make their creative ideas a reality. The overall hopes for the project are to promote entrepreneurship, development of skills, increased experience, business expansion, and the ability for individuals to create their own products from start to finish.
The Thurston County Center for Business and Innovation partnered with the Lacey Makerspace facility and programs. Karlee Purcell, the Director for the Center of Business and Innovation said that she loves having the Makerspace on a college campus and so close to the other campus at South Puget Sound Community College (SPSCC). Purcell states that being on a college campus will help promote innovation across all fields and develop lifelong skills and experiences. She hopes that the Makerspace will help inventors and new entrepreneurs be able to see and create products and use the space as workshop that can act as a stepping stone to the future.
Being a non-profit organization, the Lacey Makerspace always welcomes volunteers to come and help at the facility. Volunteers can participate in a wide variety of projects, such as giving tours, mentor members, attend events, teach workshops and classes, take photos, update social media, etc. Cole and Emma Hankins were volunteering at the grand opening at the engraving and laser printing station.
Emma says that she believes that the Makerspace is “really cool that the community can come in at all ages and learn how to engrave and do other things.”
Emma was introduced to the space after her older brother Cole got involved with the program.
Cole enjoys the Makerspace because “you can’t just buy [the equipment at the Makerspace] at your house and be able to use it.”
The Hankins siblings believe that along with having equipment available, they enjoy having people be able to teach them how to use the machines properly.
Joseph Ander, the Director of the Lacey Makerspace, believes that the space as a whole is in an ideal location, not only on the Saint Martin’s campus but in the hub of the Lacey community. He hopes that the Makerspace begins to foster growth and create new products and viable businesses. Ander encourages everyone to get involved with the Makerspace and take advantage of the opportunities present.
The Lacey Makerspace is now a hub for innovation in the Thurston County community. The Makerspace is open Wednesday to Friday 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Students and veterans receive special pricing at $30 per month for full access to the workspace.