GateWay Community College (GWCC) has begun construction of its new makerspace in downtown Phoenix, which is due to open in July 2020. On behalf of the Maricopa County Community College District, GWCC is renovating the 22,500-square-foot former warehouse at 535 W. Van Buren Street into what will become the largest makerspace in Arizona. It will be open to MCCCD students, faculty, and staff, as well as the general public (for a membership fee).
So, what is a makerspace? Makerspaces can be thought of as community workshops, or community centers with tools. They are shared spaces where members have access to equipment, tools, software, shared technical expertise, focused equipment training, and a community of people with similar interests.
Phoenix Forge will provide access to tools and equipment for prototyping (such as 3D printers) or working with metal, wood, electronics/robotics, textiles, and glass. Want to build a table, an upholstered chair, a metal sculpture, a robot, a bicycle, or a new invention? You can make all of these things, and more, while learning and becoming part of a community at the makerspace.
The partners developing the makerspace are GateWay Community College (on behalf of the MCCCD), Arizona State University, the City of Phoenix, the US Economic Development Administration, and APS.