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SHAK Makerspace to host grand opening


SHAK Makerspace will celebrate the opening of its new downtown location with a grand opening celebration and ribbon cutting on Wednesday, Sept. 27.

SHAK Makerspace first opened in February 2016 on the northside. Looking for more space in a central location, the facility relocated to 210 W. Monroe St.

“There’s an arts movement building downtown, so naturally it’s where SHAK Makerspace needs to be,” said Susan Alexander, manager of the Greater Kokomo Downtown Association and board member of SHAK Makerspace. “Being downtown and in the heart of the city would also make us more accessible. We hope this move will increase awareness of this valuable community amenity.”

The Monroe Street building had sat empty for three years and required significant remodeling to accommodate the makerspace, she said.

In addition to the work of volunteers, the renovation included an Eagle Scout project from Thomas Bragg, member of Boy Scout Troop 527. Bragg coordinated a building façade renovation that benefited the makerspace as well as the whole neighborhood as the property had become overgrown.

The project also saw the construction of a 10X40 outdoor deck.

“This deck will allow for a gathering space and outdoor workshop,” Alexander said. “We have found that there’s a social aspect to create thriving makerspaces, and this deck will help us accomplish that.”

The Makerspace opened in its new facility in August and has since added a number of new initiatives, including public maker and teacher events held monthly and a Maker City book club. Also since opening, an exhibit of work from SHAK makers has been on display at the IU Kokomo Union Street Gallery. Also, Geek Street will soon be filming new shows at SHAK Makerspace.

“Even though we are hosting an official grand opening on Sept. 27, SHAK Makerspace hit the ground running in its new location and is already making an impact,” Nancy Braun, president of the SHAK Makerspace board. “We invite the community to attend the grand opening and see what a maker community is all about.”

The Sept. 27 event kicks off at 4:30 p.m. with a Greater Kokomo Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting, followed at 4:45 p.m. with a Maker City Proclamation read by Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight.

Starting at 6 p.m., those attending the event will have a chance to tour the facility and meet local makers.

The community is invited to the free event, and refreshments will be served.