Carrie Rengers

MakeICT to move to former L.J. Pracht Co. space on East Douglas

There’s going to be a new occupant for the former L.J. Pracht Co. space.

MakeICT will be moving to 1500 E. Douglas, which is a couple of blocks west of Hydraulic, from its current space on West Douglas in Delano.

“The location is phenomenal,” says president Dominic Canare. “We’re in the Douglas Design District.”

MakeICT formed in 2012 as part of the international Makerspace movement. It brings together creators of all sorts to share knowledge and equipment.

The nonprofit had been subleasing space at Bluebird Arthouse on West Douglas just east of Seneca. When Bluebird closed in late May, MakeICT had to scramble a bit to make sure it would still have a place to operate. The Knight Foundation Fund of the Wichita Community Foundation helped the group with a new lease at the address along with just over $15,000 to help pay for it and utilities for six months.

A second grant of $100,000 late last year is helping with the new lease. Canare says it also allowed for new tools and equipment.

“We’ll have a kiln, for example,” he says.

The new space is almost three times as big and will feature expanded offerings with a woodworking shop, a computer lab, a textiles area and classroom space.

Currently, Canare says, MakeICT is a little hidden, with only an alley to access it.

“It’s almost impossible to find.”

The new space will have a storefront, “which for us is a really big deal,” he says.

MakeICT will move on April 4 and have an open house during Final Friday on April 24. It will be in conjunction with ArtDOG, a Wichita Community Foundation 24-hour giving campaign to support art-related nonprofits.

Canare says no one on the MakeICT staff is paid, so he’s looking for volunteers to help clean the new space this weekend and help with the move next month.

“Everything’s kind of moving very quickly.”

Not that he minds.

“Oh, my gosh,” Canare gushes. “Everything’s going to change. It’s going to do a lot for us.”

Reach Carrie Rengers at 316-268-6340 or crengers@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @CarrieRengers.

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