There will soon be a new occupant at the old Allen County Sweeper Co.
TekVenture, a nonprofit company that specializes in helping people realize their creative potential, is moving into the building at 1800 Broadway.
The plan is to open in July.
Long the site of various sweepers and the occasional limo outside, the building is across the street from the old General Electric building.
The sweeper company was also known as the American Sweeper Co.
TekVenture currently operates its Maker Station – a place with tools and equipment that people can use to make things – in a 50-foot trailer at the Allen County Public Library.
The new location will offer the city’s only full-service public art and technology lab and workshop, a news release said.
Dale Skaggs, who died last year, owned the sweeper company for decades.
His family reached out to TekVenture to offer space in the building, which was erected about 1949.
It’s really neat and fitting TekVenture will be located in this building, said Skaggs’ grandson Johnathan Brouwer, citing the building’s rich heritage of innovation, starting with my grandfather’s automotive and tire business, to an electronics company, to the American Sweeper Co.
When TekVenture opens, community members will be able to participate in hands-on workshops and will have access to a wide variety of traditional and digitally controlled tools, materials and mentors for making things, officials said.
The nonprofit will initially operate out of the vacuum company’s retail space.
Quiet, clean work areas will accommodate large-format printing, industrial sewing, electronics and technology, including 3-D scanning and printing, will be inside, according to the release.
In late fall, TekVenture plans to open areas for metalworking, welding, machining, woodworking, glass blowing and other loud projects.