All posts by Adam Stein

Announcing the Pumping Station: One newsletter

As part of a series of efforts to improve communications both within PS:1 and with the wider community, we are launching an email newsletter.

The content and format of the newsletter will undoubtedly evolve over time. The newsletter will of course publicize upcoming events and important news or announcements. It will also spotlight the innumerable people and projects that make PS:1 such a vibrant community.

Why is this happening?
Perhaps the most basic reason is to reach a bigger cross-section of the membership. The Google Group is a valuable resource, but participation is fairly low, not just in terms of the number of people who post, but also in terms of the number of people subscribed at all.

Beyond that, there’s a lot of stuff happening on a daily basis at PS:1 that simply isn’t publicized in any venue at all right now. If you’ve ever attended a member meeting, you know that individuals and groups are constantly up to amazing things in the space. Find out what your fellow makers are doing!

Finally, PS:1 very badly needs a way to engage the wider community, including mission-aligned organizations in the Chicago area; individuals who have found our website or come on a tour but aren’t yet ready to join; or really anyone who participates in or supports the maker community.

How will it work?
We expect to send out 1 or 2 newsletters per month. The hope is that as we get into a groove, we can hit a more regular cadence. Newsletter content will also be posted online so that non-subscribers can access it.

Needless to say, we will follow normal email best practices: we aren’t going to share your contact info with anyone, and anyone can unsubscribe at any time.

What will happen next?
If you are a current PS:1 member, you will receive the first newsletter soon, which will include instructions for managing your subscription. Anyone can sign up on the PS:1 website, and we will be posting reminders on the Google Group.

Can you contribute?
Would I have asked this leading question if the answer was no? We love, love, love submissions or even just content ideas from members. Please send your thoughts to press@pumpingstationone.org.

Share this!

Pumping Station: One building up for sale

When PS:One expanded in 2017, we negotiated a five-year lease with an option to renew for another five years.

At the time, the building was owned by the Khouri brothers, Tony and Dan. Recently the brothers divided their ownership. Tony moved his business closer to his home, and Dan took sole ownership of the building.

A few days ago, the brothers let us know that Dan would like to sell the building and is making preparations to do so. Any new owner would be obligated to honor the lease, including the renewal clause. Even in the event of a sale, PS:One retains the right to stay in its current location for up to eight more years.

Or possibly longer. Another option that has been long discussed is PS:One buying the building ourselves. Alternatively, a trust could by the building on our behalf. Similar arrangements have been made by the Milwaukee makerspace and others.

A third option is to remain a tenant under new owners. And, of course, a final possibility is to move to a new location. Moving is logistically complicated, but it also offers an opportunity to consider the long-term needs of a growing membership.

No changes are imminent, but we do need to begin the hard work of educating ourselves and laying the groundwork for an eventual decision. Likely steps include:

  • Understanding our legal rights as tenants
  • Talking to lenders about the financing options available to us
  • Establishing a capital fund
  • Setting fundraising goals and soliciting donors
  • Appraising the building and surveying the local real estate market

But the most important next step is tapping the expertise and seeking the input of our membership base. We plan to hold an ongoing series of conversations, both in-person and online, to ensure that members have full insight into the process as it unfolds. As always, we will be reliant on dedicated volunteers to ensure that PS:One continues to fulfill its mission and thrive.

Share this!