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Claremont MakerSpace Picks Up the Pace

  • Work has begun on Claremont MakerSpace in downtown Claremont, N.H. The space will host a variety of shops dedicated in areas for sewing, machining, soldering and more. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • The Sawtooth Mill building in downtown Claremont, N.H., on Aug. 11, 2017. Construction is moving forward on the building to create the Claremont MakerSpace a co-working, educational center. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Josh Bushueff is the assistant director of Claremont MakerSpace, he was at the facility on Aug. 11, 2017 in Claremont, N.H. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.



Valley News Correspondent
Sunday, August 13, 2017

Claremont — The next phase of the redevelopment of Claremont MakerSpace in the former Sawtooth mill building on Main Street has begun.

The building’s owner and developer, TwinState MakerSpaces of Lebanon, began work earlier this summer and is anticipating completing renovations before the end of the year.

Steven Goldsmith, president and co-founder of MakerSpaces with Jeremy Katz, explained on Friday the work that has been done and what the next phase will entail.

Goldsmith said “cores” have been run through the footings for plumbing and electrical conduits and interior grading of the floor, which is dirt, is finished. Additional concrete footings were poured Friday for the interior walls and a day before, the main electrical service panel was installed.

“Next week things start to really ramp up with the installation of subsurface ventilation and cap,” Goldsmith said in an email on Friday. “After that, radiant heat pipes will be laid in and then the slab will be poured.”

A “ground-making” ceremony is scheduled for Monday at 3 p.m.

The “makerspace” concept will allow members, from budding entrepreneurs to hobbyists, to use high-tech tools and equipment in a shared environment for a variety of purposes including technology, woodworking, jewelry making.

In Claremont, the interior will be divided into areas for metal, wood and electrical shops, jewelry and textile studios and a computer lab training room, according to plans on file with the city. There will also be a common area and individual work spaces.

In a news release last week, TwinState MakerSpaces said the Claremont facility will be a valuable addition to the city’s downtown.

The space will be a co-working space, education center, creative hub and business incubator, the release said. “It will offer affordable access to a variety of equipment and educational resources to help members put shape to their ideas, develop new skills, learn new crafts and launch businesses,” it said.

Goldsmith said on Friday the first piece of equipment will be a CNC machine for woodworking that will be used to make cabinets and furniture for the MakerSpace. He said classes will be held for members to learn how to use the equipment and make products. (Pre-opening memberships are being offered now at rates ranging from about $50 to about $110 per month. For more information, go to https://claremontmakerspace.org.)

The beginnings of the Claremont MakerSpace project go back to September 2015 when a $250,000 grant was received from Northern Border Regional Commission to help finance restoration of the 11,000-square-foot brick building that was left standing after most of structure was demolished to build a parking garage. Additional financing for the nonprofit came from the New Hampshire Community Development Finance Authority’s Community Development Investment Program and the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Rural Development.

Goldsmith said the total investment is around $800,000. The city, which made improvements to the exterior, including new windows, sold the building to TwinState MakerSpaces last July for $18, with the condition that it would complete remediation of remaining contamination that was the result of the building’s past industrial use. The city had excavated and removed most of the contaminated soil before selling the building.

Patrick O’Grady can be reached at pogclmt@gmail.com.