WICHITA, Kan. — Wichita State University plans to renovate the second-oldest building on campus to include an arts-themed makerspace that will provide tools and space for entrepreneurs and innovators from the school and the wider Wichita area.
The $8 million renovation of the roughly 40,000-square-foot Henrion Hall, which is used by the School of Art, Design and Creative Industries, is part of a $250 million “Shock the World” campaign university president John Bardo announced Wednesday.
The Wichita State University Foundation will raise $3.2 million from the private sector for the project to pay for the areas available in the makerspace, such as the audio studio, video production lab and pottery wheels, The Wichita Eagle reported (http://bit.ly/2dhpkgp ). The university will provide the rest of the $8 million and will address the building’s infrastructure, update the plumbing and wiring and make the building compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
People who pay to be members of the makerspace will get access to tools such as an audio studio, power tools, a 3-D printer, video production and multimedia labs, pottery wheels, and labs for metalworking, woodworking, ceramics and printmaking.
“It gives you a place where you can go, you can tinker, you can ask questions, you can get support,” said Rodney Miller, dean of Wichita State’s College of Fine Arts. “Our makerspace will be different than everybody else’s in Wichita in that it will employ arts-related facilities and equipment.”
All the programs currently housed in Henrion Hall will remain there and some other programs will also find space in Henrion Hall, Miller said.
“We’re literally combining the makerspace/Ideas Lab memberships with our academic program,” Miller said.
Wichita State already announced plans for a makerspace inside the Experiential Engineering Building currently being built on the university’s Innovation Campus.
“There will be some overlap – both need to have a woodworking and a metalworking area; we’ll both have 3-D printers – but there’s a lot of things ours will have that theirs will not,” Miller said. “The most important element is that this is not for art students – this is for every student at Wichita State and every member of the Wichita community that wants to become a member.”
Fees for the makerspace memberships have not been determined.
Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, http://www.kansas.com