Miami County commissioners voted Feb. 15 to lease space at the library for a technology center and innovation space for public use. The agreement for 8,533 square feet on the second floor of the Hobart Center at 510 W. Water St. is for 10 years. The library is located just east of the Hobart Center, which once housed the offices of the Hobart Brothers Co.. The existing library will continue to be used and undergo some renovations.
Under the lease, the library will pay $66,131, or $7.75 per square foot, for the first year. This includes utilities, except telephone service, as well as janitorial services.
County Commission Chairman Ted Mercer called the project “a win-win for Miami County residents.” The county development department and the library are researching ways to make innovation and technology features useful for small businesses and the entrepreneurial community.
To prepare the available space, some walls will be removed and doors moved among other works, Via said. The library is working with LWC of Dayton on the design and planning of the project. The library board was considering building a new library on the grounds of the current library, but changed direction when it became apparent fundraising would be difficult. Activities planned at the Hobart Center had been considered for the top floor of a new library.
As the library board began reviewing facilities and needs in 2018, community members identified technology, meeting rooms and natural light as priorities, Via said.
Initial lab equipment, minus computers, will be paid for using $150,000 from the Ada Richardson Pressman fund established with a bequest from her estate after her death in 2003. She was a graduate of Troy High School and a mechanical engineer who worked for Bechtel Corp. and was a senior engineer at a nuclear power plant near Los Angeles.
Other costs will be paid using funds the library has saved for the projects.
The new space is expected to require the addition of two full-time and part-time employees who would work with those using the equipment, Via said.
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The library’s Maker Lab space will host:
3D printers and a 3D scanner
CNC milling and routing machines
Sublimation printing station and press
Photography studio/video recording area
Audio recording and editing
Who could use this space?
– The entrepreneur who wants to start a small business but has no money for an embroidery machine, laser, etc.;
– The coffee shop that wants to test the market to see if the personalized coffee mugs would sell before placing a large order with a local printer;
– The scout troop that needs a STEM badge;
– Anyone wanting to give someone a gift;
– Non-profit organizations or anyone in need of promotional banners or stickers.
Source: Troy-Miami County Public Library