7 Union Street: Spark’s Permanent Home
With 9400 square feet, YOU will have
Increased workstations and studio space to learn, teach, and use for personal projects.
Space for new technology and tools to keep us up to date and moving forward
Greater access to classes through increased class sizes
Community space for gatherings and events for both small and large groups.
Space for additional workstations such as a spray booth or prototype lab
Flexible space and environment to accommodate New London’s future needs
AND space where Spark can invite youth to participate in our community culture through programming, events, and activities.
Spark has found a rare gem on Union Street. It is right in the heart of New London which is essential to the community impact we strive to achieve and being right downtown makes it an accessible and walkable location.
Thanks to Thames River Innovation Place’s (TRIP) generous support, Spark Makerspace, and two member investors formed an LLC and purchased Union Street in July 2020. The new building is presently being renovated with the first floor and storefront occupancy scheduled for March 2021.
TRIP is a great partner, and we are looking for community support to help match TRIP’s financial commitment to Spark’s new home. So, each donation will be 100% matched, doubling the dollars available to reach our goal.
Spark would also like to thank Chelsea Groton Bank, The Harkness Foundation, The Betts Family, and many others who have joined us to make Spark’s Vision – To be a vibrant, community hub for making, creativity, and collaboration in southeastern CT- come alive.
DONATE TODAY to join our growing community of supporters. THANK YOU!!!
Some Pictures from the new space:
Updates from our project lead John Davis
"Renovation work has been taking place for the last month. We appeared before the New London Historic District & Design Review Commission and got their approval for our planned exterior changes to Union Street. On January 21st, we will appear before the Planning & Zoning Commission in order to also seek their approval for the exterior work. In the meanwhile, the new asphalt sloped roof was finished a few weeks ago, and the flat roof which was historically the source of most of the leaks into the 2nd floor will be completed this weekend (1/16/21). Finally, yesterday new 6" commercial-sized brown aluminum gutters were installed on both sides of the sloped roof, and downspouts which will serve both the sloped and flat roofs were finished..
After the public bidding process which was required by our seeking City of New London financial assistance was completed, we chose a local manufacturing vendor to fabricate and install 34 bronze-colored aluminum thermal replacement windows throughout the building. Installation of the new windows is scheduled for the week of February 22nd. Before that time, our general contractor will have all the debris currently in our back yard removed, and a portable toilet will be put on-site there for the rest of the project.
The Spark Board has asked that because the renovation of the storefronts is so expensive (about $50K), for now, we watch the budget and just do a cosmetic freshening up of that area. Details of that work will follow after City approval. The Fundraising Committee awaits resolution on some of our larger funding sources (grants and loans). As those materialize, we will then be able to make required deposits, and schedule the beginning of the indoor work which will include: electrical, HVAC, plumbing, and interior repairs.
Finally, we will soon begin seeking input as to the color scheme and appearance of the front of the building. Given the initial rendering of our architectural firm, we also want to know what the members think and suggest. This process will be done through communications by, and meetings with, the Member Advisory Council."