Watertown Free Public Library officials hope to transform a small storefront in Watertown Square into a place where residents can be creative and learn some new skills.
The spot on Summer Street, just off Mt. Auburn Street, is the new home of the Hatch Makerspace. For the first couple years of its existence it was located in the Arsenal Mall, but now it is right on the street in the heart of the town.
Assistant Library Director Caitlin Browne said in the old location Hatch would get people from all over – Cambridge, Boston as well as Watertown – but the new spot should draw a lot of town residents or those working in town.
“We love it. It’s a great location,” Browne said.
The new location has already grabbed the attention of passerbyers, said Hatch Coordinator Liz Helfer.
“We have a lot of regulars who have been coming in, and we have had some people walking by in this neighborhood who have been very interested in it,” Helfer said. “Some want to come and start volunteering.”
The space is located on the ground floor of The Residence at Watertown Square, a senior living facility at the corner of Summer and Spring streets. Last week, Hatch invited residents from the building to try out some of the activities.
Laurie Gaines, Sales and Marketing Director at The Residence, said having Hatch on site will be a great opportunity for residents to get back into activities they haven’t done for years, or learn something new.
Antonetta Fratini, who is turning 100 in October, used some purple and yellow stickers created in the vinyl cutter to make greeting cards with flowers on them.
“It’s very attractive and it is getting easier to do,” Fratini said.
Beth Lloyd, one of the Hatch volunteers, said that is one of the keys for using the makerspace.
“The more you do it the easier it gets,” Lloyd said.
Hatch also has sewing machines, a laser cutter, robotics, and a 3-D printer that can take a design on a computer and make a solid plastic model. If Hatch doesn’t have the equipment for what someone wants to do, they can try to find a different solution, Helfer said.
Browne hopes Hatch will be at The Residence for a few years, but ultimately the library is looking for a permanent home for the makerspace.
“We have a one-year lease with the Residence and we hoping to continue for a few years,” Browne said. “We still have our eyes on the former Police Station (for a permanent home).”
Hatch is located at 20 Summer Street, Watertown, and is open Monday-Thursday, 3-9 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 12-3 p.m. The makerspace will also have a Grand Reopening on Sunday, Oct. 1 from 2-5 p.m. with activities, demonstrations and light refreshments.
For more information and for a list of classes go to watertownlib.org/hatch