Setting up the North Shop

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Bikeworks North was the culmination of 2 years of various leads on space in the Alberta Avenue area. EBC became involved in this community when the Kris Andrychuk of the Neighbourhood Empowerment Team approached us for help in setting a up a youth earn-a-bike program, which eventually become The Spoke. The Spoke ran two or three test sessions out of the Alberta Cycle building during 2010. EBC eventually took on the Spoke as a program, but at about the time that decision was made, they were kicked out of their space after the discovery of hazardous mold problems.

In addition to a desire to find a home for the Spoke, the existing Bikeworks has also grown beyond its available space, and operates at capacity throughout the summer. Many potential mechanics stop by, and leave after seeing no available work stands. The Board decided that it was time to expand to a second location.

Locating Space

Alberta Cycle

We had initially investigated taking permanent space in the Alberta Cycle building, owned by the City of Edmonton with the intent on leasing it to Arts Habitat to create a community space of artists and related businesses/non-profits. The rent was to be set on a cost recovery basis, so should cost less than market rent in the area.

The need for extensive renovations was always known, but as the process developed, unexpected delays and a lack of certainty surrounding the end result caused EBC to investigate other options.

Eastwood School

Eastwood is a closed school, about two block north of the Avenue. In 2011, it was sold to the Edmonton Police for $1, to be used to house community programs. EBC was promised free space, with occupancy expected in fall of 2011 or very early in 2012. After finding that asbestos needed to be removed from the school, this occupancy date was pushed back, first to May 2012, then to September 2012. Lacking certainty, we once again started looking for alternatives.

9305 111 Ave

Finally, in January 2012, EBC employees Alex Hindle and Anna Vesala contacted a realtor regarding an available space in a warehouse on 111 Ave. The space seemed ideal, with 1500 square feet of warehouse floor, and a mezzanine level adding another 500-600 square feet. The rent was higher than our existing shop, but still affordable, so a lease was signed with occupancy scheduled for January 27, 2012.

Our First Look at Bikeworks North

111 Ave Space Preview.jpg 111 Ave Space Preview 2.jpg

Breadcrumb: Bikeworks North blog

Electrical and Communications

Incomming building wiring

The challenge is figuring out what is safe to touch/remove, and what should be left as-is. When the above picture was taken, a digital PBX system was removed. Of interest is the right side of the cupboard. Most of our electrical actually runs through a sub-panel on the opposite (East) wall on the second floor. I also determined I did not want to touch the 24 telephone wire pairs going into the punch-down block in the lower center.

The line conditioner (lower center-left) that was used by the PBX was reused for the VOIP adapter and cable modem we had installed. The wire bundles for the PBX were later carefully removed from the upper right punch-down block. Most the wiring left-over from the (missing) security system was left in-place. Some wire pairs were connected to a wire bundle going to another part of the building (second from top-right). I removed a phone jack (above punch-down block for incomming phone) after determining it was not connected to anything. The landlord has requested that we hook up the ATCO gas meters (box lower right) to a live phone line (they apparently call home at night).

The black box is actually an ADSL filter/splitter for another building user. After consulting with the land-lord, I learned that line would not be in service until the 24th of March. I was able to temporarily break the line (after checking that there was no dial tone) to install a junction box in the conduit. I failed to take the opportunity to run string in the conduit all the way to the cupboard shown.

Junction box outside new parts/expensive tool room

The former painting room was converted partly to a wheel-chair accessible washroom. The balance is going to be used as a spare part/expensive tool room. I would also like to rough-in provision for (but not installation of) a server rack. This requires provison of communications, electrical, and cooling. Also stored in the room will be an compressor, which will also need electrical and possibly cooling.

The Compresser we purchased draws 13.5 amps (intermittant). This does not leave much room on the 15 amp circuit for other devices. When the bathroom was installed, a vent fan (CentriMaster 0.1 HP wall vent) was disconnected (orange wire). Those blue twist-on wire connectors in the upper right is where 240V split single phase power comes in (no other branches all the way to electrical sub-panel (by visual inspection of another junction box on east wall)). All of the outlets are powered by one side of that wire bundle. One set of lights in the room, plus the lights in the bathroom are on the same branch as the outlets. One set of lights is powered by the other branch. At 120Watts, the current draw is likely to be about 1.2 amps (assuming about 90% efficiency and 0.90 power factor). This leaves about 0.3 amps left over after the 13.5 amp compressor is added to the 15 amp circuit (for continuous draw, you would de-rate by 20%).

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