by Douglas Messier
Parabolic Arc Managing Editor
On Tuesday, the East Kern Airport District board approved a lease with the Space Studies Institute for a storage building at the Mojave Air and Space Port that is being renovated into a maker space. SSI is serving as the lessee until the Mojave Makers, a group composed of employees of different airport tenants, can obtain its 501(c)3 non-profit status.
The maker space will serve as a sort of clubhouse where members can work on their own projects in their free time. It is designed to facility networking and provide a sense of community for employees who work at the more than 60 companies located at the desert spaceport. Airport officials see it as one part of a broader effort to make Mojave a better place for people to live and work.
The two-year lease for the 3,900 square foot building is at a monthly rate of $975 plus a 5 percent fee for the security fee, which brings the total to $1,023.75. The group must pay the first month’s rent for April, and then there is a six month rent abatement with payments resuming on Nov. 1. The abatement will help the Mojave Makers get on its feet financially.
The airport governing board has authorized the expenditure of $25,000 for improvements to the old structure, which was most recently used to house airplane seats. New windows have been installed and a new bathroom is being built that is compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act. The exterior of the building will also be painted this week.
Members will do some of the internal renovations and provide their own tools and equipment for the building. They are also expecting donations of equipment and supplies from companies at the airport. On Saturday, board member Dick Rutan offered to donate some spare aluminum pipes that he has in one of his hangars.
The Mojave Makers has set April 10 for its first general meeting and open house where anyone interested can meet the founders of the group, tour the facility, and learn about membership. There will be punch, pie and cupcakes. The details are:
Mojave Makers General Meeting and Open House
1347 Barnes St.
Mojave Air & Space Port
Mojave, California 93501
5:00 PM: Doors open, social hour, meet the makers. Facility inspection
6:00 PM: Presentation start
6:30 PM: Open Q&A session
7:00 PM: Close
For more information, visit the Mojave Makers website at http://mojavemakers.org/.