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Unread 11-18-2011, 10:06 AM
autox_vette autox_vette is offline
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Where do you meet?

We were just notified that we are loosing our team home on 2/28.

So, we are trying to brainstorm on where we can find a new home. The usual sponsor and school industrial arts areas won't work for us, so I thought I'd see what creative solutions other teams have come up when faced with similar situations.

Thanks for any information.
Kenton
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Unread 11-18-2011, 10:41 AM
Jon Stratis Jon Stratis is offline
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FRC #2177 (The Robettes)
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Re: Where do you meet?

Our first year we were in one of the team's parents garage's. As he restores cars, it had a bunch of equipment we can use... but it did get a bit cold!

Our second year we got an engineering co-op in St. Paul to sponsor us with after-hours use of their shop. They hooked us up with the owner of their building, who let us use a huge unused room on the second floor pretty cheeply during the build season, and then gave us a large closet for the off season. third year we did that again, only this time it was an unused room on the third floor.

By the end of the season, we were too big to fit back in the closet, so the school took out a 3-year lease on the room we were in originally, and they had it remodeled to fit us. We've been there ever since.
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Unread 11-18-2011, 11:31 AM
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Garret Garret is offline
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FRC #0691 (Hart District Robotics)
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Re: Where do you meet?

For most of our teams existence we have just built out of team members or mentors gargaes. This has worked because most of the important stuff ( welding for my team) we hand off to sponsors.
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Unread 11-18-2011, 11:32 AM
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Dave Campbell Dave Campbell is offline
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Re: Where do you meet?

We have a local team that just leased a space in a shopping mall - should work out well for them as they transition from a challenging location in a school to a nice 3,000 s.f. conditioned space. They can post more details. Be sure that you identify and prepare your needs well. Speak to commercial real-estate companies, local warehouses, your sponsors, parents and friends of the team. At least you didn't have to move during the build season, right?
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Unread 11-18-2011, 02:06 PM
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Jimmy Nichols Jimmy Nichols is offline
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Re: Where do you meet?

We were asked to leave our space last spring. We formed a committee of 3-4 mentors and our sole teacher sponsor in hunt for space. We made all of the parents and mentors aware of what was happening and asked them to contact anyone they knew.

We also formed our own non-profit LLC with the state and partnered up with our local Community Foundation to use their existing 501c3. They manage all of the tax filings, PO's, invoices, checks, etc. Using the LLC we are able to sign a lease and obtain insurance. Our school would not sign a lease, one of the main reasons we started our own organization
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Unread 11-18-2011, 04:43 PM
Alex.q Alex.q is offline
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Re: Where do you meet?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Campbell View Post
We have a local team that just leased a space in a shopping mall - should work out well for them as they transition from a challenging location in a school to a nice 3,000 s.f. conditioned space. They can post more details. Be sure that you identify and prepare your needs well. Speak to commercial real-estate companies, local warehouses, your sponsors, parents and friends of the team. At least you didn't have to move during the build season, right?
I would imagine that having space in a mall would have great opportunities for community outreach. I would be interested to here more about this if they can use this space to an advantage.
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Unread 11-18-2011, 06:44 PM
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thefro526 thefro526 is offline
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Re: Where do you meet?

It really depends on what you need to do.

If you're just having a team meeting of a few people, this can be done in someone's house, a conference room, a restaurant on and off night, etc.

If you need to build/practice/debug a machine - then you'll want somewhere with a bit more open space, at which point I'd contact a sponsor. Our primary sponsor has more than enough open space for a half dozen FRC fields if you get them when they're not busy.
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Unread 11-18-2011, 06:53 PM
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Andrew Lawrence Andrew Lawrence is offline
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Re: Where do you meet?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thefro526 View Post
Our primary sponsor has more than enough open space for a half dozen FRC fields if you get them when they're not busy.
Woah.

Our school gives us a small closet, but we make do. We have to bring our robot over to the library for some real practice, which is on the other side of campus, but we do it. They originally wanted to put us in a second story room that could only be accessed by a fleet of stairs. -.-

We are currently looking into a new area, but it's pretty tough to get anything local, and it's convenient for the mentors and students to be somewhere local.
We were thinking about working under our school, which was made in the '50s, in the bomb shelter , but that didn't turn out. Oh well! Closet sweet closet!

P.S: A bit of extra information, when we opened the doors to our closet Tuesday, we found a couch and a refrigerator. Nothing important, but just something I wanted to share.
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Unread 11-18-2011, 07:48 PM
Peggy Painter Peggy Painter is offline
Testing Laboratory Scientist
no team (Y Bridge Robotics)
Team Role: Leadership
 
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Rookie Year: 2011
Location: Verona, Missouri
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Re: Where do you meet?

We meet regularly in the community room at the local public library for business, organizational and light building.

SHHHH!!! Our meetings after hours so we don't have to be quiet!

We've held workshops at the regional university research farm in their conference room. We've met at the local coffee shop. We've met several times at a leader's church where there is a huge family living/gymnasium area big enough for a practice field.

And we're planning to build in a wonderfully spacious shop (with heated floors!!!) that belongs to a local tractor repair/handyman.
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Unread 11-18-2011, 08:10 PM
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Ross3098 Ross3098 is offline
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AKA: Colin Ross
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Re: Where do you meet?

Ever since our team was created we have been working in the: Same. Small. Space. Aka our CAD classroom. Half of the room is filled with computers also so most of our space is the main aisle way separating the power tools from the computers.

I mention this only for the fact that space is space. If you can get a place to work it matters not the size. I wish you and your team luck in overcoming this problem.
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Unread 11-18-2011, 09:23 PM
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Hallry Hallry is offline
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Re: Where do you meet?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peggy Painter View Post
And we're planning to build in a wonderfully spacious shop (with heated floors!!!) that belongs to a local tractor repair/handyman.
Just be careful with putting carpets down!

We (1676) work in our school's engineering room and an old woodshop/garage that is half owned by us and half owned by the janitors. We are also able to set up between 1/4 to 1/3 of a practice field (depending on how much we decide to build that year) in our school's cafeteria, but we have to put it up and take it down every day, except for the weekends.
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Unread 11-18-2011, 11:02 PM
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akoscielski3 akoscielski3 is offline
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Re: Where do you meet?

When my team wins the lottery (should be any day now ) we are gonna build a huge facility, with CNC machines, lathes, mill's, etc. Maybe hire some workers, hold an offseason-competition, you know...

Maybe thats what you could do.
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Unread 11-19-2011, 05:07 PM
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Clem1640 Clem1640 is offline
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Re: Where do you meet?

Two weeks after Championships, we lost our home, the School District having sold the warehouse which had been our 6th home since the team's founding (and 3rd home in a year). We spent the summer homeless; with machines, parts & robots scattered between donated storage space and mentor's basements (which absolutely hurt us at IRI; we had rookie drivers with no practice opportunity).

The team's students, parents and especially mentors fanned out and beat the local bush for any available space. Since September, we have been working very happily in an empty warehouse very graciously donated by a local company (Waterloo Gardens Inc.). The space is great, but also for sale so there is no sense of permanancy. We did set up a Tenancy Agreement with the sponsor, which defines thier expectations of us and also provides the team with 30 days notice before a move.

The team did incorporate, to protect team assets and also provide an entity to contract liability insurance. We are currently seeking 501(c)(3) status.

We also continue to work towards a more permanent home. This being our 7th home, our definition of "permanent" is two years. We've got some good potentials now, but it was a great deal of work getting to this point.

By the way, despite the loss of school district support and our semi-homelessness, the team has surprisingly thrived. We built two robots this year for the first time ever. We won the Philadelphia Regional as alliance captain (2nd seed/alliance) and also received the Rockwell Automation Innovation in Control Award at Philadelphia. We attended the Championship for the first time ever and participated in IRI (albeit totally unprepared). We won Duel on the Delaware last month and our 2nd robot/team was a Finalist at Ramp Riot last Saturday. It was a great year for us. Our best ever. We've been able to recruit a great group of new students (and a new mentor) for the 2012 season. Our training has been solid. We are ready to rock.

Our organization also operates (17) VEX teams and (6) FLL teams. These are full programs engaging well over 100 students.

So we are able to run a very competitive and active robotics program. Sustainability, alas, is a month-to-month issue for us and is dictacted by the space situation. This is okay today. Tomorrow could be different. We live like this.
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Unread 11-19-2011, 05:14 PM
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Clem1640 Clem1640 is offline
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Re: Where do you meet?

Two weeks after Championships, we lost our home, the School District having sold the warehouse which had been our 6th home since the team's founding (and 3rd home in a year). We spent the summer homeless; with machines, parts & robots scattered between donated storage space and mentor's basements (which absolutely hurt us at IRI; we had rookie drivers with no practice opportunity).

The team's students, parents and especially mentors fanned out and beat the local bush for any available space. Since September, we have been working very happily in an empty warehouse very graciously donated by a local company (Waterloo Gardens Inc.). The space is great, but also for sale so there is no sense of permanancy. We did set up a Tenancy Agreement with the sponsor, which defines thier expectations of us and also provides the team with 30 days notice before a move.

The team did incorporate, to protect team assets and also provide an entity to contract liability insurance. We are currently seeking 501(3)(c) status.

We also continue to work towards a more permanent home. This being our 7th home, our definition of "permanent" is two years. We've got some good potentials now, but it was a great deal of work getting to this point.

By the way, despite the loss of school district support and our semi-homelessness, the team has surprisingly thrived. We built two robots this year for the first time ever. We won the Philadelphia Regional as alliance captain (2nd seed/alliance) and also received the Rockwell Automation Innovation in Control Award at Philadelphia. We attended the Championship for the first time ever and participated in IRI (albeit totally unprepared). We won Duel on the Delaware last month and our 2nd robot/team was a Finalist at Ramp Riot last Saturday. It was a great year for us. Our best ever. We've been able to recruit a great group of new students (and a new mentor) for the 2012 season. Our training has been solid. We are ready to rock.

Our organization also operates (17) VEX teams and (6) FLL teams. These are full programs engaging well over 100 students.

So we are able to run a very competitive and active robotics program. Sustainability, alas, is a month-to-month issue for us and is dictacted by the space situation. This is okay today. Tomorrow could be different. We live like this.
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Unread 11-19-2011, 05:34 PM
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Koko Ed Koko Ed is offline
Serial Volunteer
AKA: Ed Patterson
FRC #0191 (X-Cats)
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Re: Where do you meet?

The Rochester City School District provides us with a workspace that we have to share with FOUR OTHER TEAMS. To be honest the combined roster of the four other teams might equal to the amount of members on my team (started around 63 at our first meeting and shrinking). We'll probably be around 40 to 50 by the time ship day comes around.
The REC (Rochester Engineering Center) was based on a idea from Detroit, Michigan as a robotics site to host several robotics teams. Fortunately the Rochester City School District is all in the on the project and while there have been several hiccups at least it's home and we're making the most of it.
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