Rough layout idea for the new SSD Workspaces

SSD votes to approve Renovation!

The SSD board has voted to perform an involved renovation fo the South side of the Boulder Hackerspace, more in line with our organization’s growth and the makers, small business owners, enthusiasts, and community we aim to serve!

Link to DocumentDocumentation Write-up
Link to FinancesFinancial Estimates and Projections

The Overall Idea

The goal of this conversion is to create an environment that better represents what SSD does and our capabilities, rather than having space go unused in a city where the cost per square foot is at a premium.

SSD has underutilized, and misrepresentative room layouts, with much room for improvement.

We aim to undertake an improvement to the current space increasing usage, function, flow, marketability, and importantly, fundraising in mind.

We intend to divide the current woodshop into 2 rooms. Room 1 is a ceramics studio, there will be a dividing wall on the other side of the bay door, and the remaining space having the banquet table for classroom and meeting space with the 3D printing, and laser being along the back wall where the chop saw feed table currently is. 

The woodshop would be transferred into the larger room. The woodshop experiences substantial use and the extra space is more representative of the use and membership the woodshop brings to the SSD space. 

The entrance lobby will get an upgrade to give a fresh impression of the space for new and existing members. It will maintain an open concept, the South lobby space will get new cabinetry and a smaller fridge, and the renovations will include new flooring (Already provided), a cafe area, and along the back wall -closest to the sewing room- a photo studio with pull-down backgrounds for portrait, product, and artistic photography for general use and completed projects that will improve our social presence. This back area closest to the sewing room will double as an art studio with collapsible easels that fit in CNC’d benches along the wall for storage. 

This improvement is meant to usher in a respectable presence upon entering SSD and display what people have the capability of learning and doing and shift the thoughts of what needs to be done here to what can I build. 

Phases Overview

The renovation will be broken down into 4 main phases, with some overlap between the phases as necessary.

We’ll aim to keep spaces functional and have downtime at a minimum, ideally less than 1-2 days for major changes, incorporating large scale projects into single days or grouping them for efficient use of time.

Phase 1

The main objective is swapping the woodshop and meeting room. Preparing for the move will be done first. This includes installing air filtration in the new woodshop area. Prep for 220V service in the new woodshop. Removing the shelving along the North wall for replacement with an enclosed ShopBot CNC room and loft. This also includes removing a portion of the wall between the current woodshop and future woodshop (To move shopbot later and update with barn doors)

After the preparation is done we will move the tables and seating to the side (Potentially temporarily putting the 14ft table outside for the move into the new meeting area) and make space for the transition. Once the space is clear and cleaned we can move the shopbot, table saw, rolling workbench, and dust extractor. The power tools will move onto the 12-foot table, the 14-foot table will then be free to move into the open space where the woodshop was along with the 3D printers, Laser, and loose items from the general space.

This will keep the woodshop operating outside of the moving day, allowing us to make use of the woodshop to aid in the improvements elsewhere around SSD.

Phase 2

The main objective is setting up the ceramics room. This will include creating the dividing wall in the classroom to house the ceramics studio, this gives us roughly 200sqft+ for the ceramics studio space. There will be a CNC designed double door and windows on the wall to the ceramics room. We will be installing a kiln, shelving, vent hood, air cleaner, throwing wheel(s), slabbing/prep table, and sink. We will run plumbing to the main lobby and also the ceramics room with inline pumps to drain in an appropriate location. A special clay trap will be installed in the ceramics room to prevent clogging and allow for proper drainage. We’ll be adding in the new LED lighting in both the class area, as well as the ceramics. 

The intention is to use the existing 220V connection for the kiln and run venting up through the ceiling and through to either a filter or outside to keep fumes to an absolute minimum – the preference being inside through a filter for Winter, outside during Summer. The laser cutter vent and ceramics vent can be inline with the current ceiling vent. 

Once the kiln is installed, we need to already have the new 220V outlets in the new woodshop area, since we’ll no longer be able to draw from the old connection in the old woodshop.

At this point, we can also build the enclosed room and loft for the ShopBot, with double doors for loading and windows to maintain visibility while reducing noise, dust, and contamination.

During this build, the classroom space, 3D printers, and Laser cutter will only have downtime as the new vent and lighting is installed. 

This should get us to a working ceramics area and functional class/meeting space, allowing us to start offering the studio for use and as a selling point for new and current SSD members.

Phase 3

The objective here is to update the main lobby. We will be downsizing the South lobby space, installing new CNC’d cabinets with uplighting and downlighting and installing a minifridge to only have drinks and single day meals, as well as add a water tower – likely with replaceable bottles. There will be new flooring installed. We will be patching, replacing, and painting the walls, as well as setting up the photo/studio arts area. We’ll also incorporate some storage benches for the photo/video lights, stands, tripods, as well as installing pull-down studio backdrops, a pair of painting easels, and a refresh of the short wall with a wooden flatiron depiction cut on the ShopBot.

The Couch will be removed and a fold-down breakfast bar with stools will be installed along the south wall where the carpet currently transitions so that we can fold it down and away when people want to use the full stretch of the room for photography.

This should put the southern lobby entrance into a presentable state that reflects the growth and quality we have experienced and will continue to add to SSD in 2021 and beyond. We’ll also benefit from having no spots that are feasible to assume to be at risk of becoming snooze zones, based on prior years.

Phase 4 

The objective here is to make the aesthetic of the space congruent. This will consist of improvements to the space we have developed into, cutting custom sliding doors on the ShopBot, finish work, decoration, allocation of storage zones not already incorporated in the plans, adding more wood access, cameras, and more as needed. We can also start to then improve the electronics room and textiles area.