The path to a building permit

We finally have a building permit! This months long process of getting ready to modify the Echo 3 space at the Truckee Airport, so we can finally start to setup the makerspace this spring, has reached a major milestone. I'd like to share a few stories of how we've gotten to this point.

In August, the Airport board voted to lease the Echo 3 hanger space to the Truckee Roundhouse for a community makerspace, and urged their staff to start modifying the space to be ADA accessible, install sprinklers, and other small steps to meet county code so that we could move in. The original goal of completing that work in December slipped as the project became more complicated (that tends to happen...) 

One source of complication has been the tension between set plans and flexibility. The county has asked for specifics on what machines will go where, what sorts of chemicals we'll have in what amounts, and generally expecting us to say exactly what the space will look like. On the other hand, we know that this is a community project and a work-in-progress, and we didn't think we'd need that nailed down so soon. Even after we open, we expect to move walls, relocate tools, add features and generally always try and improve the space. Where the rubber hits the road here is on things like ventilation and power -- the laser cutter or the kiln, for example, both need a hole in the wall for ventilation, and the kiln requires some serious electrical wiring work. The process of working out what is fixed, and what might move, has been useful for our board of directors and shop leads to think through.

Other fun items include the grade of the entranceway being too steep and requiring asphalt to bring it in-line with ADA rules, the upgrading of our lighting to meet state Title 24 standards, installing an extra emergency exit door, and the list goes on...

And now, with permit in hand, we have just been informed that we need to have a chemical wash shower for safety reasons, which also requires a very large water heater and expanded gas line. Who knew!? This isn't something we expected to need, but we are committed to making the safest space possible and if this really is required we will figure it out. 

At a recent day-long board meeting we had some much-needed time to reflect on where we've come and where we are going. It is so important to remember that even though this is taking longer than expected, we are moving forward at a very strong pace and we have accomplished a lot. The next few months are going to continue to be full of surprises, but I am more confident in this team than ever, and so thankful to have a community of people dedicated to this vision.