By Chloe Jones
Last spring, the McPherson County MakerSpace was just a dream, but now it is up and running. After some changes in plans, they relocated to 218 North Ash St. in McPherson, Kan. Although they were planning on opening in May, it did not happen until July. Since then, there have been trainings and orientations held quite often to offer new members and community members the knowledge they need to be able to use equipment in the facility.
In other news, the McPherson County MakerSpace announced Friday, Sept. 27 that its directors voted to allow for case-by-case interviews to allow unaccompanied teenagers access to the facility as a part of family memberships. Previously, they held firmly to the position that they would not allow anyone under 18-years-old to use equipment or be in the facility unaccompanied. Thinking back on their own experience as teens, the directors of the MakerSpace decided to allow teenagers to come in for an “interview” to determine eligibility for unaccompanied membership. However, they made it clear that this does not guarantee that all teenagers will be accepted.
In a clarifying statement made on their Facebook Page, the McPherson County MakerSpace said, “We have to consider the safety of the child, the liability of the situation, and the caliber of the equipment in the facility when making such a decision.” The main goal in this change is to allow responsible individuals access to the tools they may need to fulfill their creative ideas.
Some equipment that the MakerSpace has include QIDI 3D printers, a JGAURORA 3D printer, a vinyl cutting machine, a Longarm Quilter, a Glowforge, and many hand tools for physical projects. General orientations and trainings take place frequently so that people can be trained quickly and be able to use the equipment soon after acquiring a membership. For more information about the McPherson County MakerSpace, you can visit their Facebook Page or call 620-245-7650.