The doors of Redwood City’s new makerspace opened for a sneak preview Thursday, offering residents and donors a peek at the many crafts and creations they could learn to master once formally open next year.
“It just seemed like there was a ton of this pent-up enthusiasm that people really had for a new amenity,” Redwood City Library Director Derek Wolfgram said.
Located in the city’s downtown library, the makerspace is intended to be a hub for residents to learn new skills and create using an array of tools and programs. Thursday’s event appeared to reflect the type of interest the space could drum up, Wolfgram said, with residents of all backgrounds taking up the opportunity to view demonstrations, participate in maker crafts and check out exhibits including a three-story Tesla coil.
Construction on the makerspace began in September after the project received a $270,000 grant from the Redwood City Library Foundation in July. Just months later, work is nearly complete with only a few tools held up due to supply chain issues, Wolfgram said.
Amenities will include a 3D printer and laser cutter, digital design and modeling software, sewing machines, robotic tools and basic electronics, handcrafting tools and supplies, a sink for wet crafts and cleanup and a small video conference room and podcasting studio.
“It’s going to be a wonderful amenity for our community and the library never ceases to amaze me,” Mayor Diane Howard said. “It’s going to give young and old alike an opportunity to learn new skill sets.”
The foundation is still accepting donations for additional items needed to stock the makerspace and has created a publicly accessible Amazon wishlist with specific items community members can purchase and donate.
Wolfgram anticipates the site will open to the public in January depending on whether health conditions permit in-person activities to reconvene at the library. Very few live events have been held since the start of the pandemic given the way COVID-19 cases have fluctuated, he said.
Staff will continue to monitor the pandemic, especially now that the new omicron variant has reached the region, Wolfgram said, noting much is still unknown about the mutation at this point.
Once fully opened to the public, Wolfram said the space will stand apart from other makerspaces in the region given that access to it will be completely free and accessible to all.
“We’re really proud to be offering this type of service, to be able to make it available to all members of the public,” Wolfgram said. “This is going to be a great equalizer in granting access to this equipment to people who wouldn’t have access otherwise.”
Visit redwoodcity.org/departments/library/rcpl-info/makerspace to learn more about Redwood City’s makerspace and https://www.rclfdn.org/donate to make a donation with the Redwood City Libaray Foundation.
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