As for more details about the space, we’ll just say that it is unbelievable. If you take a look at what they have now and compare it to what they started with, you almost wouldn’t believe most of it. They had tons of tools everywhere, an impressive server room, and had even just finished their learning lab. They have roughly 2000 square feet of space and have done an excellent job of laying things out. The best thing you can do is just take a look at the Flickr account and see for yourself.
The space is approximately 2000 square feet and used to be a TV repair shop. The great thing about that is the fact of three phase power already being run to the location! It already has workbenches on one wall, and has a storefront that we could re-purpose for other things. You can check out simulated 3D photo of the main workshop at photosynth. There is just a lot to be said for the potential of the space. From the layout of the place, we would be able to build us a server room, possibly a kitchen, a storage closet, plenty of workbench space, individual cubbyholes, a lounge, and a maybe even a learning lab. We will be discussing all of this with everyone at the next couple of meetings to get ideas for potential layouts and what we can do to make the most of what is available. The owner has even generously agreed to give us the first month for free and $800/mo for the first year before raising the rent to the requested $900/mo. If we can get enough paying members interested this it really could become a reality quite soon.
Again I’m not sure exactly how many people have heard, but along with our invitation to Nashville, we’ve also been invited to check out Makers Local 256 in Huntsville, AL. Our current agenda is for us to leave at 7:30 AM on June 26th so that we can meetup with the guys in Huntsville around lunchtime on that Saturday. From there we’ll checkout the shop, stay the night, and come back again on Sunday morning. Since we will be making use of discounted hotel rooms, we will need a head count no less than two weeks in advance to know how many rooms to get. If we do not do it at least two weeks before hand, we may not be able to get the discount. So bottom line, if you haven’t said anything by the meeting on the 11th of June, then you’re not going to be able to join us. That being said, everyone is welcome to come that wants to. You just have to let us know in time. Feel free to send in an e-mail to the mailing list, or send in one to firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know.
Today, four of the board members met with a real estate agent, Bud Worsham, to scope out a potential space. We wanted to give Bud an idea of what we were about and what kind of space we were interested in. He showed us a small 1800 square foot warehouse at 132 Cumberland St. pictured is the inside of it. This did a couple of things for us. It gave us the feel of what we might be able to obtain as a group, a little better understanding of the interactions needed to obtain such a space, and an idea of cost that we could expect. The cost is slightly daunting at first, but is certainly not out of reach if we can all pull together to accomplish what we want.
At first glance it seems that everyone is very interested in the idea of having a space to work on projects and various other events. The catch is that everyone seems very interested, but lacks the interest to assist in the formation of a location of our own. This puts us in a very strange position. We need members to have funds, we need funds to have a space, and we need a space to have members. It becomes cyclical very quickly, and if we are unable to break that cycle, we will stagnate equally as fast. All of this means that we simply cannot do anything without biting the bullet, pulling together, and building our funds before we have a space.
With that being said, everything that we have asked for thus far in the way of dues is not mandatory. Since it is very obvious that we do not have a space to provide in turn for a fee, we are unable to set any sort of dues that could even remotely be considered mandatory. In fact, we never have, and never will set any type of mandatory payments so long as a space is not provided. It is best to instead consider this a pledge or donation to the group for a means to accomplish the goal that we have all expressed interest in. So currently we ask that anyone who wishes to assist us in moving forward, make a donation to the group. If it is a monthly pledge, fantastic. If it is a one time thing that you can do, wonderful. Every little bit helps, and we can’t make any of this possible without the help that you can provide.
We had a great meeting last Friday. Jim and Daniel were at MidsouthCon setting up our fan table, but they managed to make it to the meeting. They had a great time at the con and spread the word about our group. We had a special guest Bryan from Makers Local 256 in Huntsville, AL. We had a great time talking about how Makers Local got their start and it was nice to talk to someone from another hackerspace. Here are the Memphis Hackerspace Pictures from the March 12th meeting.
We also discussed fund raising ideas to help out the group. We currently have vinyl decals availiable at our meetings for $5. If you are interested please let us know in the next meeting. If you have any other fund raising ideas or ideals for decals please let us know. We have our very own Google Group you can join and stay in touch with the group between meetings.