Event will be held during Talent Harvest Festival
Talent Maker City will kick off construction of its new regional hub for science, technology, engineering, art, and math education at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, at 100 W. Valley View Road.
The event, a groundbreaking for an 8,000-square-foot facility, will take place during the Talent Harvest Festival.
The new building will serve as a regional hub for STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, math) learning for all of Southern Oregon, according to the event announcement.
“The nonprofit has outgrown its current space and is struggling to keep up with the high demand for education programming, local business support, and creative community workshops and events,” a news release said.
To fit with Talent Maker City’s mission, the building will have educational design features such as exposed utilities and mechanical systems. Construction equations will be placed throughout the building to demonstrate real-world applications of math. The hope is the building itself will spark curiosity and expose people of all ages to the world of engineering, construction, and design.
Talent Maker City is working with Arkitek Design and Architecture and Outlier Construction to complete the new building. After an intensive search, they selected these organizations due to their strong local reputations for completing projects on time and on budget. They have also committed to meeting many of Talent Maker City’s values such as centering diversity and inclusion within their staff and subcontractor hiring, as well as a dedication to sustainability throughout the building process.
Initial funding for the project came from a $1.8 million grant from the American Rescue Plan Act that was directed to Talent Maker City through state Rep. Pam Marsh, D-Ashland. TMC’s response to the COVID pandemic and the Almeda Fire that devastated Talent in 2020 proved key to receiving this funding.
“Talent Maker City has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to our community in response to the pandemic and wildfires, and has proven its ability to foster workforce development and economic vitality through their workshops and programs,” said Rep. Marsh. “As a local hub for creativity and innovation, TMC is poised to help Southern Oregon recover and to thrive. What they need now is room to grow.”
The ARPA funding has been used to purchase the property at 100 W. Valley View Rd. in Talent, pay for architectural plans, building permits, and initial construction. Additional funding will be needed to complete the building to make it an innovative, sustainable, and accessible building that will serve many generations of Southern Oregon makers.
“After providing resources for the community for many years, we’re excited to see how the community will support us in building the next iteration of Talent Maker City,” says Development Coordinator Nina Gerona.
The organization is also launching a capital campaign to raise $1 million in community donations, with additional grant funding rounding out the $4.4 million needed to complete the new building and purchase essential equipment.
“This project celebrates the resiliency of our community and the growth and evolution of TMC thanks to the hard work and dedication of our staff, volunteers, and community partners,” says Executive Director Alli French. “To see the dream of having a community makerspace that is accessible to all and that can meet the creative and innovative needs of this region, is beyond exciting.”
Visit talentmakercity.org for more information.
Source: Talent Maker City news release. Email Ashland.news at firstname.lastname@example.org.