University collaboration to debut new Makerspace

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For months students across Pacific University’s undergraduate campus along with Forest Grove locals have gazed up at the second floor of the Tran Library in curiosity. Directly adjacent to the newly built study area now exists a modern workspace with frosted windows, various cardboard boxes and high tech machinery tucked away behind locked doors.

This mysterious addition to the library will debut to the student body via an open house at 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Sept. 18 as the Pacific’s new Boxer Makerspace, a collaborative atmosphere where students are provided technical resources to create and innovate. The new Makerspace houses such machine marvels as a 3-D printer, scanner, laser engraver and cutter settled among more antique technology like a vintage Golding & Company iron letterpress.

Most of the machines that will be open for use in the Makerspace were curated by Dr. Andy Soria, Director of the Berglund Center and key catalyst for the conception of the Makerspace.

“Since 2013, because of the nature of what (the Berglund Center) has been doing, I’ve been accruing all of these pieces of technology,” Soria said. “The opportunity was there to partner with the library because they had prime real estate and I had the tools.”

Expansion of the technology in the Boxer Makerspace is even set to continue through the next year despite just being completed. Isaac Gilman, Pacific’s Dean of Libraries, is hopeful that the cutting-edge machinery in the new addition will be joined by large-scale 3-D printers and even publishing tools with the help of a charitable grant.

The need for an environment to work with the resources featured in the Makerspace was recognized by university faculty years before the birth of the Makerspace. But as a result of the cooperation between the Berglund Center, Library and the support and tireless efforts of Pacific’s faculty, the Makerspace was brought to life for all interested students, regardless of major or academic level.

This welcome is extended for the Friday, Sept. 18 open house, as any curious library goers can stop in and learn more about the space. There will be several crash courses held after opening to teach educators and students how to properly operate the technology housed in the Makerspace.


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