Saint Martin’s University says Lacey MakerSpace renovations and classes broaden students’ and community’s access to the innovators’ workshop

Two people work with equipment

LACEY, Wash. - Thanks to this year’s extensive renovations to the Lacey MakerSpace on the Saint Martin’s University campus, the University’s students, staff and the public now have expanded use of the workshop’s classes and varied resources. With free memberships for the University’s students, faculty and staff, a convenient campus location, and networking opportunities, Lacey MakerSpace has much to offer to the academic, business and artisan communities.

“Saint Martin’s University is proud to serve as a founding partner of the Lacey MakerSpace,” says Nate Peters, vice president of marketing and communications and interim vice president of institutional advancement. “We are honored to have this regional gem on our campus, providing access to their many resources for our students, faculty and staff. The newly renovated classroom provides dedicated space for classes to be taught in the MakerSpace, providing a hub for our students to connect with business leaders and community members alike.”

People standing in the renovated MakerSpace
Lacey MakerSpace Director Michelle Pope (center) says the renovated workshop brings together campus and external communities to learn new skills and network in the classes on the Saint Martin’s University campus.

Saint Martin’s University and Lacey MakerSpace collaborate to bring networking opportunities to Lacey classes

Lacey MakerSpace is an innovator’s workshop for varied disciplines, providing space, tools and training to bring new products to market. Members use the space for 3D modeling, laser cutting, welding, sewing, taking classes and more. Michelle Pope, Lacey MakerSpace director, says the workshop’s campus location brings together the Saint Martin’s collegiate community with area businesses and innovators. Businesses and students can work together to build skills, network and develop a greater sense of community. “I see connections happening,” she adds. “It’s a collaborative environment.”

Collaboration was also key to the completion of the updated facilities. Saint Martin’s University has been Lacey MakerSpace’s home since 2019, when the workshop opened through a partnership among the University, the City of Lacey, and the Thurston Economic Development Council. The 2024 renovations and equipment purchases became reality thanks to city and congressional funding that expanded the facility to the entire 8,000 square feet of Zaverl Hall.

Students hold a sword made at MakerSpace
Engineering students and others in the Saint Martin’s University and broader community can gain skills at the Lacey MakerSpace workshop on campus. 

Saint Martin’s University is ideal location for college and external communities to gain skills in Lacey MakerSpace classes

The campus location also means that Saint Martin’s students, faculty and staff are an important part of the Lacey MakerSpace educational environment. “With high-tech fabrication tools and education resources, the Lacey Makerspace can empower you to become a maker, innovator or small business leader,” the University explains to students.

Cameron Devine obtained his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at Saint Martin’s and is a visiting professor. Devine advises the Lacey MakerSpace Club. He envisions club members will be campus ambassadors for the workshop, showing students the benefits of accessing the space and equipment.

Devine used the Lacey MakerSpace for his own projects, and has seen first-hand what the updated and bigger facilities and more equipment mean for engineering students. He says the Lacey MakerSpace location and expansion offer advantages for students and staff, and the high-quality 3D printers are just one example. “MakerSpace allows us to have access to professional equipment, and, since it is also open to the public, it involves a group of people large enough to justify using the additional resources,” he says.

A student works on a project at MakerSpace
Lacey MakerSpace invites Saint Martin’s University students and the external community to take classes and create. The workshop building is located on the campus in Zaverl Hall and is open to all. 

Lacey MakerSpace’s university classes are free to Saint Martin’s students, faculty and staff

Pope says university students, faculty and staff receive free memberships to Lacey MakerSpace. Students also have opportunities there through work-study and internships. A new volunteer program also provides new opportunities for them to donate their time.

The facility’s classes give members a chance to gain proficiency with new tools and skills. The classes are grouped into four areas:

  • Basic. These introductory classes cover woodworking, laser cutting, 3D printing, welding and more.
  • Design. These classes focus on the software and design-based aspects of the more computer-based machinery.
  • Make. Local professionals and business owners cover safety protocols and basic hand tool and equipment use where attendees will get hands-on experience making their own items to take home.
  • Skills or Workshop. These courses for a particular project are offered on a sliding scale. Attendees learn basic tool use while building practical items for use around the house and studio.

Pope says several success stories demonstrate the workshop’s benefits to students. One Saint Martin’s graduate student in business who started an event planning company now uses the Lacey MakerSpace equipment to fabricate custom trinkets for her customers. Another engineering graduate was a work-study student at Lacey MakerSpace. She is now employed at the workshop as a fabrication specialist and educational coordinator.

A class is held in Lacey MakerSpace classroom
Saint Martin’s University is the home of Lacey MakerSpace classes that empower college and community makers to bring ideas to life and cultivate an innovative economy.

Learn more about the Lacey MakerSpace classes, equipment, memberships and volunteering

More information about Lacey MakerSpace on the Saint Martin’s University campus, including Saturday tours, is available on the workshop’s website. Class descriptions and schedules are posted online. Contact Volunteer Coordinator Ilsina Nazarova if you are interested in donating time in exchange for membership and machine access incentives.

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