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Nova Scotia Power Makerspace reopens its doors in Sydney

One of the few projects created inside the Nova Scotia Power Makerspace since mid-March was a new door handle for Nova Scotia Power. It allows doors to be opened with only a forearm. GREG MCNEIL/CAPE BRETON POST
One of the few projects created inside the Nova Scotia Power Makerspace since mid-March was a new door handle for Nova Scotia Power. It allows doors to be opened with only a forearm. GREG MCNEIL/CAPE BRETON POST
SYDNEY, N.S. —

Since its opening, the Nova Scotia Power Makerspace has become a buzz of activity that sees college students working alongside crafters and artisans on any given day. 

The volume of activity and creativity is accentuated when commercial clients and other members of the space join the group for training opportunities and project creation. 

But that was months ago before COVID-19 safety precautions limited access to the creative space. Operators are hoping that flurry of creativity and innovation will quickly return now that the Makerspace has re-opened its doors.  

“That whole community and cross-pollination side of things has completely gone away. That’s one thing I’m really excited to see come back,” said Matt Swan, director of the Makerspace.  

“I look forward to people buzzing in this space again, chatting with each other and asking what each other is working on and passing ideas back and forth.” 

Matt Swan, director of the Nova Scotia Power Makerspace, points out the new lines found on the floors of the space in Sydney. The lines identify new workplace zones that are part of safety protocols in place. GREG MCNEIL/CAPE BRETON POST - Greg Mcneil
Matt Swan, director of the Nova Scotia Power Makerspace, points out the new lines found on the floors of the space in Sydney. The lines identify new workplace zones that are part of safety protocols in place. GREG MCNEIL/CAPE BRETON POST - Greg Mcneil

 

That was an environment where many ideas were formed and Swan expects it to be that way again, even with new social distancing rules for the space in place.  

The Makerspace has been closed since mid-March except for work deemed critical such as face mask and face shield creation and work on the Nova Scotia Ventilator Project.  

Before reopening on Thursday, a complete examination of policies, procedures and safety first took place.  

Signage, social distance recommendations, cleaners and personal protective equipment are now found everywhere inside.  

Tools need to be washed after every use, lines identify various work zones and members must sign a new kind of waiver before they get back to work. 

Swan said not everyone is comfortable with returning just yet so memberships will remain on pause throughout July. 

For safety reasons, capacity limits are now in place at equipment stations inside the Nova Scotia Power Makerspace in Sydney.  GREG MCNEIL/CAPE BRETON POST - Greg Mcneil
For safety reasons, capacity limits are now in place at equipment stations inside the Nova Scotia Power Makerspace in Sydney. GREG MCNEIL/CAPE BRETON POST

 

Those who want to come in should schedule a time slot, as opposed to a previous practice of just walking in. 

Non-members curious about the space are still allowed to drop in, though.   

“The space does seem intimidating to some people,” Swan said. “Our message in promotion has been that the Makerspace is for highly technically trained people, but we are really set up for people dipping their toes in and getting started. Those people, we want them to come in and feel comfortable, as well.” 

The Makerspace is found inside the New Dawn Centre for Social Innovation at 37 Nepean St., Sydney.

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