By Leigha Felice
The Columbus Idea Foundry is a mixed use spaced used as a workshop, learning center, and a creative space. It is a place where people can have access to unique tools and technology. Columbus Idea Foundry moved from a 24,000 square foot location to its current 60,000 square foot home. It was formerly a shoe factory and took multiple grants/partners for Columbus Idea Foundry’s home to be possible. The space was designed by TRIAD Architects and completed by Compton Construction on time and on budget. Mayor Coleman and the City of Columbus granted $900,000 to Franklinton Development Associates to buy the warehouse. Also, a $25,000 grant was given from the Columbus Foundation to the Franklinton Development to cover cost of relocating. Most of what you see in Columbus Idea Foundry is from the $350,000 grant from Art Place America.
The Columbus Idea Foundry required a two-phase renovation. The first phase was the completion of the first floor that is now open for public use. It consists of hand tools, laser cutters, 3 dimensional printing and much more. It is the construction floor. The second phase of the project was recently announce to be on its way. It is the completion of the second floor. It is going to be a space for business support. It is somewhere to build your business. It will also be an event space, co-working space, demonstration kitchen, and a roof top deck to host a social gathering. The space will help link the social aspect to the entrepreneurial community. The second phase is suppose to have its grand opening in mid-2016 and will be completed by the same architects and contractors as the first phase.
Columbus Idea Foundry is now the world’s largest makerspace. An initial membership fee of $35 is required to work in the space and an additional hourly rate depending on what machine one is trying to use. Before using a machine, one has to take a class to go over how to use it, safety precautions, and material usage.