Makers Mill is Making Progress

Photo 1:  Roadwork was required to bring in a new dedicated six inch waterline for the sprinkler system and to upgrade the domestic line from  ¾ to 2 inch.  The crew from Eastern Excavation had to contend with rainy weather that week, but otherwise the job went smoothly. 

Photo 2:  Sheran’s Concrete is pictured here completing the rebar scaffolding where the elevator concrete pad will be poured.  Sheran’s poured just over 36 yards of concrete on the job, including the front entry pad, elevator pad, and new slab where the future bathrooms will reside. 

Photo 3: Austyn Shea and Rich Frizzell of Milestone Engineering & Construction look over the plans with architect Leslie Benson, of Leslie Benson Designs, to make sure that the construction is indeed going as planned.

After three years of diligent visioning, planning, and fundraising, following a decade of local programming, GALA’s vision is coming to life one 2×4 stud at a time.   Makers Mill, Carroll County’s first dedicated Makerspace & Vocation Hub, will house a woodshop, metalshop, Fablab, spaces for fiber arts, fine arts, jewelry & metalsmithing, AV & IT, as well as multipurpose studio and meeting spaces. The new makerspace will be a place where students, hobbyists, and professionals can learn, teach, practice, and collaborate around a wide variety of skills and crafts that support personal, professional, and community goals. 

Renovations for Makers Mill commenced earlier this spring and have been progressing steadily ever since.  Phase One is estimated to conclude at the end of this year and will result in a fully renovated, code-compliant, accessible building ready for initial programming and membership options.  

“The building is already transforming so fast,” shares Makers Mill Executive Director, Josh Arnold. “It seems whenever I walk into the building there is a new wall, or new rough opening for a window or door, or more recently, a new concrete pad poured.  It’s truly surreal to watch plans that we have been staring at on paper for the last two years actually taking shape in the building.”

The first job was a dirty one – demolition.  EnviroVantage, the demolition crew contracted out of Epping NH, were the first contractors on site this spring in charge of preparing the space for rough carpentry, plumbing, electrical, and site work.  One of EnviroVantage’s largest tasks was to remove the second story floor, a necessary step before a new floor could be built approximately 12” lower in order to gain enough vertical clearance to meet building code.  This also made the second floor far more comfortable and useable for future programming.  Makers Mill posted an impressive time-lapse video of this job on their Instagram page @makersmillnh.  

True to their environmentally focused origins, GALA’s Makers Mill is making a great effort to reduce waste by salvaging as much material as possible from the job site.  Many of the floor joists that were removed have been saved and will be repurposed by volunteers to make planters in front of the building next spring.  Old sheathing was given to the Wolfeboro Food Pantry to use in their community garden.  Old insulation that needed to be removed was posted for free on craigslist and picked up right away by someone insulating the floor of a barn.  Old heating systems have been sold on craigslist and even a few doors have been removed and repurposed. 

Chestnut and Cape began rough carpentry with the construction of the new floor, a new fire exit stairwell (egress), and new window and door rough openings.   Sheran’s Concrete followed and began preparing rebar and forms for new pads required for the elevator pit, front entry, and a large section of slab that had to be replaced where the future bathrooms will go.  There were approximately 36 yards of new concrete poured on the project.

If you drove down Bay St in Wolfeboro a couple of weeks ago you got a first hand look at the roadwork involved in bringing in a new six inch dedicated waterline for the sprinkler system, as well as a new two inch domestic line, replacing the old ¾ inch line.  Eastern Excavation had to contend with a rainy week to tackle this job, but otherwise it went smoothly and the road has now been repaved.  

Updating the waterline required extensive coordination with the Town of Wolfeboro, and advance notice and collaboration was conducted with David Ford, Wolfeboro Public Works Director, Rod Dempsey, Wolfeboro Water Distribution & Sewer Collection Foreman, and Thomas J.  Zotti, acting Fire Chief.  All town parties worked closely with Milestone and Eastern Excavation to update the water line and complete the roadwork.

While a lot has been accomplished, there is still much work to be done.  The jobs planned for the remainder of August and into September include the front and rear dormers, rough electrical and plumbing, and more interior framing.  Most of the work up to this point has been inside the building (except for the water line and entry pad), but soon onlookers will notice the exterior start to transform as the dormers and siding progress.  If you’d like to follow along, construction updates, videos, and photos are posted on our social media pages @makersmillnh. 

Makers Mill staff meet regularly with their architects, Simons Architects and Leslie Benson Designs, and construction manager, Milestone Engineering & Construction, to address the inevitable challenges and make decisions as they arise. Meanwhile, plans and logistics are advancing to identify and schedule programs.  Staff and volunteers are also working on writing policies that ensure the future space is safe and efficient to operate. 

Makers Mill Tool-Kitty Fundraiser is underway to raise funds for tools and equipment for the new shop spaces.  Contact Josh or Carol at or 603-569-1500 to learn more and get involved.   Makers Mill is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law.  EIN #  65-1286865.

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