Written by Juanita Fox
Nearly 200 people toured the newly renovated Wood Shop at Garden Spot Village on Friday and Saturday, September 10 and 11 during a two-day Open House.
The celebratory event started with a board cutting where Garden Spot Village CEO Steve Lindsey and members of the Wood Shop leadership team cut a beautifully designed board in half with a handsaw. The board, a tangible memory of the occasion, is now displayed in the Wood Shop.
The journey to this day started more than two years ago as Wood Shop members began to dream about a larger workspace where they could accommodate their growing membership.
Bob Winegardner, a Garden Spot Village resident since August 2004, spearheaded the expansion. He and others had many conversations surrounding how to expand in order to best meet the goals they had for the space. A layout and architectural drawings brought their vision to life. In the fall of 2019 the group presented their idea to Steve Lindsey and Garden Spot Village COO Steve Muller for support and funding.
Because Garden Spot Village did not have immediate room in the capital budget for the renovation, the leaders of the Wood Shop went to work immediately to estimate the cost of the project. They started a capital campaign that raised $44,000. Wood Shop members, family and friends all contributed to the renovation funds. In addition to financial help, many people made material donations and used their time to help the project.
Bob says, “Everyone contributed some piece of expertise,” From installing cabinets and helping with electrical work, to architectural layouts and knowledge of dust collection systems, each member contributed to the expansion.
One of the first steps, logistically, was dismantling and moving 57 resident storage units from one side of the hall to the other. Wood Shop President John Moore says, “We are so thankful to the residents for their cooperation when we asked to move the storage area. Their cooperation through the entire project, almost without exception, was positive.”
Over the next few months, the Wood Shop expanded from 2,500 square feet to 4,625 square feet, and 88 cabinets were installed. (Most of the cabinet installation and major renovations were done in the summer of 2020.) The Wood Shop’s painting and aerosol painting rooms were also renovated. The group also purchased a large CNC machine and a routing table.
“So far, in using it, the space flows the way we wanted it to, works the way we wanted it to, looks the way we want it to look and we have a Wood Shop that is second to none,” Bob says. The members look forward to using their new space to prepare for future events such as the Bird House Display and the Silent Auction as well as the Fall Festival.
John reflects, “I am thankful for Bob’s original concept for expansion, his diligence in creating the plans and presenting them to the administration. His work, along with the input of several other members, formulated the necessary steps to make this expansion a reality.”
He adds, “As a group, we are committed to providing a positive environment for people interested in wood working and people who want to learn woodworking. We also commit to being a major contributor to the entire Garden Spot community through our work. We invite residents to bring items that need to be repaired as well as requests for new items to us, to be completed for a donation.”