Western Avenue Orientation

We bought a building! There is a lot of work and we need everyone to stay involved and get us up and running at Western Avenue. We’re building something amazing and it will be worth it. 

This FAQ page is intended to empower you with information and answer questions that other people are probably wondering about too.

Getting to (and into) our new building

Where is the new building?
Our new address is 150 Western Avenue #3, Lowell, MA 01851.

Where can I park?
You may park in any of the open spots in the lot except the three just to the right of our main entrance (which have signs and cones designating them for GoPuff-use only).

Where is the main entrance?
The little white house to the right of the loading docks is our main entrance. Immediately inside the door, take a left and walk toward the rear door with the glass window. You will have to swipe your fob again to enter the large warehouse space (this room will soon house all of the downstairs shops from Lee St.). Please be aware that this is an active construction zone and use caution. Walk to your right toward the metal stairs. At the top of the stairs, the Classroom will be in front of you and almost all of the shops will be down the hall to your right (Photography will be to the left).

Can I use my old key fob?
No – your blue key fob for Lee. St. will not work at Western Avenue
. You must transfer your membership to our new member management system, Nexudus, and get a new black key fob. Please retain your blue key fob and continue to use that to access Lee St. Once we have fully moved to Western Avenue, you can discard your blue fob. 

Getting set up with our new member management system

The move to Western Avenue is an opportunity to upgrade our homegrown and buggy access control system to something better.  Nexudus is the new member management system. Nexudus is where you will create a profile and pay your membership invoices. If your membership is unpaid, you will not be able to access our facilities.

To start the process of moving your membership into Nexudus, go to this link: https://lowellmakes.spaces.nexudus.com/. Click “sign up” and enter your personal information. On the next screen, choose TRANSITION MEMBERSHIP ($0). Lowell Makes Executive Committee will get your membership transfer scheduled for the correct date so that you do not experience a lapse or overlap in your membership. You will receive an invoice from Nexudus when your membership is ready to be paid. 

Respecting our neighbors

Lowell Makes is very excited about our new home on a campus with over 300 artists in the Western Avenue Studios and Lofts and Navigation Brewing. We share a parking lot, a loading dock, and a freight elevator and want to be respectful of that shared space. As new neighbors, we want to be considerate and build a positive relationship. Every Lowell Makes member represents our makerspace when they are on the Western Avenue campus.

Lowell Makes members should never:

  • Put trash in the Western Avenue dumpsters
  • Use Western Avenue carts
  • Leave doors propped open between the loading docks and the Western Avenue Studios
  • Leave messes in the parking lots or shared entrances
  • Wander the halls of Western Avenue Studios – especially after hours

Any member caught violating these rules will be suspended.

About the new space

What COVID-19 Restrictions are in place at Western Avenue?

All the same requirements as at Lee St. – with the benefit of having more space to spread out! 

  • Wear a mask at all times (exceptions when we are social-distance-eating on workdays allowed)
  • Please clean everything you touch 
  • Maintain 6 feet of distance from others 
  • Do not gather more than 3 people in a shop or SLA 

What is the visitor policy at Western Avenue?

  1. Guests at Lowell Makes must be attended by a member at all times.
  2. Guests may not use tools.
  3. All guests must fill out a liability waiver AND register via Nexudus. Hosting member should log in to Nexudus, click “My Account,” and scroll to Visitors at the bottom of the left column.

Can I use the freight elevator and where is it?

To access the elevator at Western Avenue you must pass through shared spaces – please be extra courteous when passing through these spaces, especially during business hours. We request that members use our MAIN entrance through the warehouse and up the stairs unless they are moving equipment or have an accessibility requirement and need to use the elevator. 

To access the elevator, come in through the white shed and head to the left, through the garages. The elevator is through a set of double doors, inside the farthest loading dock – it is bright red. Do not prop these doors.

Take the freight elevator to the second floor and make an immediate left. You are about to enter the offices of Design Point, a private business that holds a Lowell Makes membership and an SLA. They understand that their lobby is the only path to the elevator, but we want to be courteous about walking through, especially during business hours on weekdays. If you need to move a lot of equipment and it could cause a disturbance, please e-mail [email protected] so that we can give Design Point notice. 

Take a left in the Design Point lobby and head toward the white door – this opens into the hallway of our upstairs shops. 

Taking the trash out at Western Avenue

The dumpster is stored inside the warehouse area. It says “Crescio” and Lowell Makes on the outside. When you walk in it will be on your right. You’ll need to go into our warehouse space, unlock the interior garage door, and then unlock the smallest exterior garage door on the left. Please close all doors when you are done.

The trash is picked up on TUESDAY mornings. We will need volunteers to put the dumpster outside on Monday nights, and bring it back in on Tuesday. Please do your part to help manage the trash at Lowell Makes.  

Where is the _____ at Western Avenue?

Bathrooms – there are gendered bathrooms upstairs at Western Avenue, down the hallway past 3D Printing. We hope to have gender neutral bathrooms on the first floor when that is all set up. 

Kitchen – the kitchen is between the Classroom and the Conference Room. 

Which shops currently are at each location? 

Western Avenue: Classroom, Conference Room (including the Library), Lounge (moved but not set up), Kitchen, Coffee, Brewing, Photography, D&D, Lock Sports, SEM, Fabric & Mixed Media Crafts, Electronics, 3D Printing, and several SLAs.

Lee St: Cosplay, Metal, Woodworking, Bike Repair, Rapid Prototyping, Pottery, Common work area, desk rentals

What is the WiFi at Western Avenue?

The WiFi network and password are written on the whiteboard in the classroom (upstairs) and posted on our New Member Wiki page.

What is the business on the first floor at Western Avenue? 

That is our tenant GoPuff! They will deliver delicious snacks to you at all hours of the day. If you want to order from them while you are at Western Avenue, enter 150 Western Avenue #3 as your location and write a note asking them to deliver to the white shed/Lowell Makes.

Moving (and building) Lowell Makes

When are volunteer work days/nights?
For the foreseeable future, we are meeting at Western Avenue every Wednesday evening and Sunday during the day. Lowell Makes is run ENTIRELY by volunteers.  

When are we moving the downstairs shops to Western Ave?
We are planning to start the build out in the second week of September. If all goes well, we should be moving in late October – early November. We will give everyone at least 3 weeks notice and we will need ALL HANDS ON DECK to sort and pack the basement. 

Do we need money?

YES. The longer we pay both rent at Lee St. and the mortgage at Western Avenue, we are losing money. We are trying to move everything to Western Avenue as soon as possible and continue fundraising. Our GoFundMe is still about $17,000 short of our goal, and we need at least $13,000 to build out the downstairs shops as they are currently scoped. If we don’t have that money, we will have to cut things like electrical drops and consider wants v. needs. Please continue to give to Lowell Makes and share our GoFundMe with your family, friends, and employers.

What will happen to the Lee street space after the move? Will there be any post move costs or repairs needed?

Our lease officially ends at Lee St. at the end of 2020. We are hoping to move a month or two sooner than that to save money. We are required to leave the space “broom clean,” meaning swept and vacuumed (thank you to Sam Green and Jon Goplerud for cleaning the upstairs). There should not be any repairs needed, since our landlord has been made aware of existing issues (for example, the leaky ceiling in Pottery) and we have not caused any damages. We will likely need a dumpster to get rid of things that we don’t want to move. 

Whom do I contact for questions about _____?

  • Moving my shop – Amy Watson (make sure you join the Pack and Move Lowell Makes Basecamp for the latest communications) 
  • Signing up on Nexudus – Ben Brown  
  • Teaching classes – Kreg Kaminski
  • Fundraising/donations – Amy Watson
  • Work days at Western Avenue – Sam Burdett