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Saturday Meeting Will Explore Community Wood Working Shop

Meeting will gauge interest for an Artstown Plaza community workshop

Would you like access to a woodworking shop, equipment and expert help?

You are invited to the first community workshop meeting at Avon Lake Public Library, Saturday Jan. 26 to explore the option of creating a Community Workshop in Avon Lake.

The concept of "Woodworking Made Simple" is being explored by Avon Lake businessman Tom Patton, who owns Artstown Plaza on the west end of town, and along with his wife Tomie, manages Commerce Benefits Group.

In April 2011, Patton told Avon Lake Patch he was interested in using the space formerly inhabited by the closed Avon Lake Theater as a train museum. He said he envisioned not only a museum, but also taking the space that housed the closed skate park as a community workshop where people can use the area on personal projects as well helping with museum renovations.

Now, with the help of Lorain resident Bob McDonald, a workshop might come to fruition.

“What we want to do is, take a space about 7,500-sq.-ft. and turn it into a place where people can come in and do wood crafting,” McDonald said. “They can come in, make frames, furniture.”

McDonald said the idea was raised again when he approached Patton, a family friend, recently.

“I told him I wanted to set up the ultimate guys playground,” McDonald, who considers woodworking a hobby, said. “He said, “well, I have the space.”

McDonald currently has woodworking equipment in storage that belonged to his father-in-law, who passed away last year.

“My former father-in-law was pretty good (at woodworking) and had the equipment,” he said. “No one wanted it so I said I’d take it.”

The planned area in Artstown is still cluttered and will need to be cleared before the workshop is finished.

“And we still have to run electrical and plumbing,” he said.

For now, the two are trying to gauge interest in having a community workshop.

When it opens, depends on the reaction from the community. He is considering making the venture a non-profit organization.

“That depends on what kind of response we get,” McDonald said. “If we get enough people, the time table is accelerated. If there is no support, we’ll shelve it. But we’d like to get this started as soon as possible.”

Patton and McDonald will be hosting a program outlining the project Saturday, Jan. 26 starting at 10 a.m. at 32649 Electric Blvd.

If interested, RSVP to gvogel@avonlake.lib.oh.us  with the subject line: Woodworking, or call the Library 440-933-8128 x 239.

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