MOVING DAY

A couple months ago, we concluded that we were outgrowing our space at PPNA and that we would have to move. Then, PPNA told us they were selling the building and that we had to be out in three weeks. With help from Seward Redesign we found a new space at 2310 Snelling Ave. South in Minneapolis, sometimes known as Seward Commons. May 14 was our moving day.

One of two moving trucks being loaded at our old place
One of two moving trucks being loaded at our old place
Moving out...
Moving out...
...moving in.
...moving in.

The new building is between Hiawatha and Minnehaha Avenues, right next to the bike trail on Hiawatha, and just three blocks south of the Franklin Ave. light rail stop.

Our new space has over 2000 square feet, about 25% more than we had at PPNA, and we’re very excited about that. While we did like the fact that multiple groups shared the space with us at PPNA, it did impose limits such as how many days we could be open. We’ll have the new space largely to ourselves. There are some other community groups storing stuff in the space currently, but they’ll be moving to the garage/warehouse out back in the next few weeks. We hope to expand our hours in the coming months.

All moved out...
All moved out...
...all moved in.
...all moved in.

It will take us a few weeks to get everything arranged in our new home. We had some donated shelving arrive while we were moving; it turned out to be too tall for the new space, so we’ll have to shorten it a bit.

After everything was moved in, we visited our next-door-neighbors at Sisters Camelot. Turns out they are big Ubuntu fans just like we are. We think we’ll get along terrifically.

The new space offers us great opportunities, but it can’t be our long-term permanent home. Seward Redesign plans to eventually raze the whole building and redevelop the space. However, our lease says that won’t happen for at least six months, and it’s possible that it may not happen for a year or two. That suits us just fine. Free Geek Twin Cities is a hive of bustling activity; we’re always busy doing many things, constantly growing. The number of new volunteers showing up each week continues to increase. The space at PPNA lasted us about a year before we outgrew it. It’s likely we’ll outgrow Seward Commons in a year as well. It’s a good problem to have.

So, come see our new digs. Come donate your old computer. Come learn about computers. Come help us teach people about computers. Come help us recycle responsibly. Come make a difference in the community.

UNPACKING IN OUR NEW HOME

Our new home for Free Geek

Last week we moved all our stuff to our new location. This week we put the banner up, and started unpacking everything and figuring out where to put it. While we had taken great care in placing “materials for building computers” and “materials to be recycled” into separate boxes when we were packing, all those boxes ended up in one big pile at the new place (see the previous blog entry). We assembled much of the shelving previously donated and used that to sort out the big pile.

Printers & computers placed on shelving…
…creates space where we can actually work

One of our favorite features of this new space is the front desk. It gives us an actual vehicle for greeting visitors and volunteers, taking donations, minding the thrift shop, and acting as the “ship’s bridge” for the day’s activities.

Super volunteer Andy Mac took charge of the front desk
Super volunteer Andy Mac took charge of the front desk

We even had a few donations come in today, along with some new volunteers.

 thanks to Megan & Sophie for making floorplan
Floor Plan

We must give a special thanks to Megan & Sophie for making floorplan that is actually to proper scale. We’re using it to plan out where we want to put things, where we want to have things like classes, building, teardown, and so forth.

Zoey & Andy hang up the whiteboard
Zoey & Andy hang up the whiteboard

There is still a lot of work to be done, unboxing, unpacking, finding homes for things. But we got much of that done today, and we may be able to resume at least tearing down computers & printers for recycling next week. It will probably be another week before we can resume the Build program as we are still working on identifying and unpacking all of our “known good” components.

Nevertheless, all are welcome, so come pay us a visit and check out our new home. There’s always plenty of free parking.