Troy Library opens Maker Lab with DIY tools, guidance from staff

Facility is on second floor of Hobart Center for County Government, 510 W. Water St.

TROY — The Troy-Miami County Public Library will open the long-talked-about Maker Lab this week, bringing to life a space dedicated to fostering creativity, innovation and hands-on learning.

The Maker Lab is on the second floor of the Hobart Center for County Government, 510 W. Water St., in 8,500 square feet of space leased from Miami County.

The Maker Lab is modeled after a maker-space called Spark Place, at the Xenia Community Library and will include equipment such as 3D printers, laser cutter, learning lab and a business center.

Members of the community will be able to use the space if they have a library card. They will pay the cost of any materials used in their projects.

A learning lab offers specialized software and printers along with a business center with copier, scanner, fax and other business tools. The space also includes meeting rooms and a sound room for podcasts and related activities.

Elijah Stephens, a former middle school science teacher, is manager of the Maker Lab and its four employees. They will assist visitors, answer questions and provide guidance, but their main job is to help maintain safety.

“It is a do-it-yourself space, so there will be some learning on the part of our patrons to work those machines,” Stephens said. “We want people to be comfortable in using the space.”

The Maker Lab staff will not do projects for people but will guide people toward the correct machines and the steps needed to make their chosen project happen, said Rachelle Via, library director.

Library leaders said they anticipate visitors from the county and surrounding areas.

Artwork along some walls was created by Troy High School student Lily Scheerer.

Via noted that the opening comes during Women’s History Month, which is appropriate because a large percentage of the construction and all of the equipment was funded by a bequest from Ada Pressman, who grew up in Troy.

Pressman was a mechanical engineer who began her career at Bechtel in 1955 as a power control systems engineer. By the end of her career, she managed 18 design teams for more than 20 power generating plants globally and specialized in developing emergency safety systems for fossil-fired and nuclear power plants.

As of March, $298,479 had been spent or encumbered on equipment, technology and furnishings for center space, Via said. Another $466,521 had been spent on building renovations for a total $765,000.

Although some may find the space intimidating, Stephens said people are invited to give the Maker Lab a try.

“Don’t be shy about coming to the space. If you are interested, show up, there is always something you can explore, do and check out. There is something for everyone to do here in the space,” Stephens said. “It may be intimidating but we are here to help.”

More information on the Maker Lab is available at the library’s website at

Contact this contributing writer at

Troy Maker Lab opens

Monday, April 17: Grand opening and ribbon cutting at 11 a.m.; tours and demonstrations of lab and equipment from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Tuesday, April 18: Maker Lab official first day; hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

More information: or 937-703-4275

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