Dayton approves over $1M in funds for west-side makerspace, law group communication center

The City of Dayton has announced it will give over $1 million in federal funds to the Greater Dayton Union Cooperative and the Nalls Law Group to build a makerspace in West Dayton and a new video conference and connectivity center, respectively.

According to a release, $1,025,000 will go to the Greater Dayton Union Cooperative’s Westside Makerspace project.

The cooperative said that it will use the money for several things, including buying land, environmental reviews, building design and engineering, construction, accounting and legal services and tools and equipment. The project will also use about $500,000 in private and organizational funds and in-kind support.

In the end, the makerspace is intended to be a STEM and arts co-op, to provide a space for entrepreneurs, youths and hobbyists to develop and practice using tools and equipment that would otherwise be inaccessible.

A further $41,400 were approved to go to the Nalls Law Group for a new video conference and connectivity center, paying for renovation, construction, materials, equipment and technology.

While speaking the city commission meeting on Wednesday, Christopher Nalls, the founding attorney of the law group, said that the video center would be located in an unused office space next to the firm’s offices, and would provide professional equipment for digital content production, and would be open to the public. He added that the group has community partners who would come help clients to use the equipment.

The funds were approved as part of the Dayton Recovery Plan, which is the city’s plan to spend $138 million in American Rescue Plan Act money. The money was given as part of the Supporting Black and Brown Businesses initiative portion of the plan.

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