Good news re: H-buildings
- Good news from InfoAge tonight about the H-buildings.
But first some background for any new-ish list members or those who may simply be confused or haven't been paying attention. :)
InfoAge Science Center, in Wall, NJ, is a grassroots all-volunteer museum on a historic campus. MARCH formed in late 2004 / early 2005 and joined as an InfoAge member organization in May 2005, thus entitling us to have a museum presence there, rent-free, so long as we follow some rules and be good InfoAge citizens.
In 2006 (or was it 2007? I forget), we opened MARCH's first museum exhibit in one 10x12 room. That was in InfoAge's "Marconi Hotel" building.
In 2008 we moved across the street into building 9032-C. First we had one (bigger) room there, then two, and currently five with a sixth opening this summer/fall. With that sixth room we'll have a total of around 1,500 square feet of exhibit space devoted to computer history.
But the goal has always been the massive H-buildings -- called such because there are two buildings each shaped like a capital 'H' from a birds-eye view. Each 'H' is divided into eight sections (not counting the center hallways) of around 7,000 square feet. (Currently MARCH's primary storage facility is in one half of one section, so around 3,500 square feet.)
Renovating * each * of the 16 H-building sections will cost big bucks. Right now it's out of reach.
Back to the present: Fred got good news from the town building inspectors recently. Turns out that if InfoAge fixes up the firewalls + doors between the four sections on each half of each H-building, then the building code has simpler (read: cheaper and easier and faster) requirements to get certificates of occupancy.
So, it still may be a year or more before we can open the BIG computer museum space, but it is no longer an insurmountable goal -- the huge expenses such sprinklers, HVAC, etc. are no longer deal-breakers because the town will inspect these sections as 16 smaller "abutted" buildings instead of one HUGE building.
Fred said one of the "medium" expenses will be new fire doors between the hallways in each section. High-quality fire doors can easily cost a few grand per set. But, per my last couple of emails, if each club can quickly raise $500-$1,000 ..... then that expense is solved. (It also makes our collections safer, because a fire in an adjacent section wouldn't get to our stuff as quickly.)