The bad news is that the Provo city council voted to demolish the jail rather than have it turned into an awesome community workshop. I believe it is the worst decision I’ve even seen made. Their lack of vision astounds me, and I’m a hairs breadth away from giving up on Provo entirely. We will most likely be closing the current location, and paring down tools to just what will fit in our…..
Fabulous New Space! The new space will be a bit smaller(only 400 sqft), and might seem a little cramped because… We’ll have the water jet there! The new space I found will be a bit cheaper than the current space, and has 3 phase power for running the water jet.
There is also a chance that we will be able to keep the current location going if we start getting more donations, or can make money by cutting things on the water jet. A donation packet to seek donations from local companies is in the works.
I’m also trying to put together a program I’m tentatively calling “Make-ed in Public”, where we will be bringing a basic Makerspace experience to public parks and open spaces around Provo using our Fabulous Donated RV (if we can get it going)!
I’ve been hearing about several attempts to foster “Robotics and Internet of Things” projects here in Utah lately, so I was happy to see a member bring an ESP8266 to ProVolt for electronics night. The ESP8266 is an extremely cheap programmable wifi enabled device that some refer to as an “Internet of Things enabler”.
The low cost (around $3.50), and easy programmability of this device make it a great starting point for an IoT project. We’ll probably order a bunch of these to have around to play with.
Hey everyone, it’s been a year since ProVolt was incorporated!
Our main objective is still “To act and operate exclusively as a nonprofit corporation pursuant to the laws of the State of Utah, and to operate a space where members and people from the community can gather; learn from each other; use tools, equipment and supplies; and to create.”
StartFest is the largest grassroots startup event in Utah, and it’s happening downtown this week. Head over to StartFestival.com to find out more and register. There are quite a few influential business people speaking, and it’s a great opportunity to network and see what’s happening here in Utah. I highly suggest coming down if you can.
Of course Provo is trying to be supportive of business, so you’d think they’d love the idea of having the old jail converted into a startup incubator/makerspace. I hope the city leaders can see the trajectory we are on, and make the right choice.
We had a wonderful time exploring the Jail. We immediately got separated, and broke off into different groups. We ventured down into the boiler room where the floor was covered in slippery sand, and climbed onto the roof where we peered down the elevator shaft. Near the end, we had to run because we were running out of time and kept finding great new places we hadn’t been. It was an awesome adventure in and of itself, and then we had pie.
We were on the lookout for structural damage, and water damage. We found a bit of water damage in the cell block area, one place with a wet floor in a basement, and one interior non-bearing wall in the kitchen looked damaged, but for the most part the structure of the building looked completely undamaged. Most of the problems were cosmetic.
I believe the consensus is that there is enough space there to allow us to do essentially everything we could imagine, and it is worth pursuing. There were many areas that would need only minor repair to be usable. These areas could be used almost immediately, and other areas of the building could be renovated over time as needed.
How do you eat an Elephant? One bite at a time. Looking at individual rooms in the building it’s clear that, for most, the work required to fix them would be well worth the effort to reclaim that space for doing something awesome for years to come.
Now comes the biggest problem: Getting the building. It’s vital that we impress the city to the point that they have no choice but to allow us to move in.