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White River CoWorks Opens as The Engine Room Evolves

  • Mike Novick, of Norwich, Vt., works on his laptop while utilizing a shared workspace on Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017, at White River CoWorks in White River Junction, Vt. Novick, who is trying to get a consulting business off the ground, said that he likes a shared workspace enviroment because it is cheaper than an office and it eliminates distractions that might occur while trying to work from home. "Taking a nap seems real tempting at home," he said. (Valley News - Charles Hatcher) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Ryan Munn, curator at White River CoWorks, in a common area at the co-working space on Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017, in White River Junction, Vt. Munn said that the open floor plan of the shared workspace allows for collaboration among users. (Valley News - Charles Hatcher) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Elizabeth Craib, of Hartland, Vt., moves belongings into the new office for Village Green Publishing on Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017, at White River CoWorks in White River Junction, Vt. Craib said that the space is brand new with a skylight, windows, flooring and fresh paint. (Valley News - Charles Hatcher) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • The entrance to White River CoWorks photographed on Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017, at the shared workspace in White River Junction, Vt. (Valley News - Charles Hatcher) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.



Valley News Business Writer
Sunday, October 15, 2017

White River Junction — The co-working space in The Engine Room has moved out of Freight House Hall and around the corner into a 2,000-square-foot space at 240 S. Main St.

Now renamed White River CoWorks and managed by Ryan Munn, a former finance manager at White River Toyota, the co-working space continues to offer the same amenities as the prior location — Wi-Fi, work stations, conference rooms, printers, projector screens, coffee and snacks — but without the potential distraction of an alcoholic beverage bar.

Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The space is closed on weekends.

White River CoWorks offers both day passes ($6-$10) and monthly passes ($150-$200) as well as “dedicated desks” ($300 a month) in the communal co-working space, located at the side entrance (marked by a yellow door) of the building formerly occupied by lawn equipment supplier L.F. Trottier & Sons, now located in Hartland and South Royalton.

Munn said co-working space owner Mike Davidson decided the mash-up of different functions at The Engine Room, in the space adjacent to the Elixir restaurant, weren’t “conducive” to a communal workspace environment. Since Davidson opened The Engine Room last fall, the space has evolved into an “events” venue and now also hosts the Club Diesel Sports Bar & Lounge, a recently opened nightclub.

“The original project for The Engine Room was mixed in with a bar and events space and each of those were not viable on their own,” Munn said. “But each of those have now grown up in their own right.” Besides, “the ice maker would turn on randomly and make a lot of noise and that just made (The Engine Room) a challenge as a workspace,” he said.

Munn, whose job description is “curator” at White River CoWorks, said the private office spaces have already been rented out by a publisher, a computer programmer and project manager, a video editor and the administrative office of a commercial and home painter.

He said that, on “any given day,” four to five people avail themselves of the communal work facility, which also includes a small kitchen for light food preparation.

He said the open floor plan allows for collaboration among users, although the casual, hipster atmosphere does not yet extend to being allowed to bring a dog to work.

“We have not had that come up yet,” Munn said. “That is a really good question. I’m not sure right now. Let’s assume not,” he said, adding that the owner recently installed new carpeting.