Our Makerspace is a central location that provides a variety of tools in a learning environment for youth and adult residents of Fulton County. It is a safe space that allows an individual to freely express themselves to do real and meaningful work. It is a hands-on place to collaborate, educate and create with other members. This workshop provides the opportunity to use tools someone may not have access to. A place for businesses to educate their employees and use the space for interviewing purposes. A place to foster growth in the community while supporting local businesses and eateries.
The name Round Barn Lab ties into Fulton county’s history. With seventeen round barns, Fulton County originally had more round barns than any other county in Indiana. In 1971, Doris Hood and Bill Myers founded the Fulton County Round Barn Festival that officially ended in 2013 and has since been revitalized as the Living Local Fest in 2017; an artisan food and craft fair. These round and polygonal barns are found to still be of interest with a special connection to the community and its history. The Fulton County Historical Society in Rochester, Indiana has established a National Round Barn Center of Information working hard to preserve them.
This group came together to help provide a place for others to be makers and to build local support, opportunities, and a new form of enjoyment to the community. Our makerspace is dedicated to helping makers, designers, creators, and entrepreneurs bring their vision of a new product to fruition, translating an idea into a tangible, manufactured item.
Round Barn Lab first met in July of 2018 and have been meeting regularly since then. Officers have been elected and we have began identifying stakeholders in the community to further help us along. In a collaboration we have received our 501(C) 3. designation; an official not-for-profit. Each board members comes from different backgrounds and have different occupations, but all deeply believe in this makerspace.
Makerspace movement is not new to Indiana but making its way to Rochester, Indiana.
As we gain enough members our hope is to gain more equipment for everyone to use as large as woodworking and welding equipment to 3D printers and crafts. Instructional courses will be offered for specific equipment. Community feedback is important help us understand what members want. Providing an outlet, safe space, or additional workspace to create is something we are striving for.