Truckee Roundhouse Makerspace Lands at Truckee Tahoe Airport
The Truckee Tahoe Airport Board of Directors unanimously approved a lease for the Truckee Roundhouse Makerspace on district property on August 26.
The four-to-zero decision finally gives a home to the Truckee Roundhouse, a Truckee nonprofit where community members can use a variety of arts and crafts tools and equipment to individually or collaboratively build and create anything from art projects to robotics.
“The airport is a perfect example of a community partner, contributing to something the entire region can take advantage of. It’s a perfect partnership,” said Emily Vitas, Truckee Roundhouse board member.
The makerspace model aligns with the airport’s interest in supporting STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) Education, said Hardy Bullock, director of aviation & community services at Truckee Tahoe Airport.
Improvements to the airport building that will house the new makerspace will take a few months, after which Truckee Roundhouse will need some time to move equipment in and finish the needed upgrades. Opening will likely be in early 2016, said Stephen Hoyt with Truckee Roundhouse.
The group is currently raising funds and collecting equipment for the makerspace, including tools for metalworking, woodworking and technological arts. In the next few weeks, they will begin a tax-deductible tool donation drive, and have already received donations including a laser cutter and engraver and a 3D printer.
Truckee Roundhouse is also soliciting community input on what equipment people would like to see, accessible at www.truckeeroundhouse.org. Several hundred responses have already been received.
“Community members will be able to access the makerspace with memberships, which will likely be around $50 a month, or around $500 a year, as well as special lower student rates, drop-in rates, and punch cards, also to be determined,” said Karin Johnson, Roundhouse board member. “The space will also offer classes to members so that they can learn a variety of arts, crafts, and trades.”
“Our original idea for the makerspace in Truckee was to create a resource for our community to incubate innovation and facilitate a resurgence in people learning how to imagine things with their minds and then make them with their hands,” said Grant Kaye, Roundhouse board member. “Truckee Roundhouse will provide a space for cross-pollination between skilled craftspeople, programmers, artists and curious tinkerers that may not otherwise have had the opportunity to come together.”
The space, while not meant for commercial operations, could be a place for businesses to get a start, he said.
“We want Roundhouse to be a community resource for not only individuals who want to make and create, but for entrepreneurs who could one day invent products, found companies, and create light industrial jobs in Truckee,” Kaye said.
The Truckee Roundhouse Board of Directors – Morgan Goodwin, Grant Kaye, Emily Vitas, Karin Johnson and Chris “Big Chief” Gregor – would like to thank Truckee-Tahoe Lumber, Porter Simon, the Sierra Business Council and the many others who have supported the makerspace thus far.