It’s been a crazy month-plus of attacking the new space and transforming something so raw into something beautiful and all our own. We still have so much to do, but the progress has been amazing to witness and be a part of. Every volunteer has been working incredibly hard, dedicating their free time and energy to cultivate this new home together, and it is frankly humbling. I wanted to update everyone on where we’re at on the build-out, and let you know what’s coming up!
Walls and Floors and Doors, Oh My!
The bulk of our work has been getting the two studios ready to dance in so we can get back to the dancing we love so dearly. The two rooms we had to work with were very different–one a former lawyer’s office space with industrial carpeting glued to concrete, the other a former storage warehouse for antique furniture which was last used as a preschool “outdoor” play area. Here are some images of the warehouse 10 years ago when I first visited the space, 6 weeks ago when I saw it again, and progress we have made since.
The warehouse as it was left after the preschool vacated the space. The floor is comprised of interlocking rubber tiles meant to make a soft surface for the children to play on. Before they moved out, there was a wood jungle gym where I am walking in this image. The wooden posts and beams are all covered in old carpet to further protect the kids at play.
Our first Very Big Task was to get up all the tiles (the landlord helped with this, thank heavens!), rip all the stapled carpeting off the walls, scrape up the peeling paint on the cement, and clean up the endless cobwebs. We’re still not even done with that last step, as they didn’t seem to have cleaned the rafters at all in a decade!
Next we had to add more support framing all around the room to accommodate the new walls. You can see some of the pressure treated 2X4’s we installed at the edge of the wall there. Thank heavens for Home Depot tool rentals–the nail gun saved us a lot of time and sore muscles, but it still took two 7+ hour days of install.
All walls are up, concrete floor needs one final clean-up and then we can do the three layers of flooring–a vapor barrier, a cushioned underlayment made specifically for dance, and then the bamboo flooring itself.
Here is about 5 hours into our second day of flooring. Vapor barrier and underlayment complete, now just endless cutting and click-lock flooring. We stopped working at about 7:30pm and had the floor 3/4 of the way done. SO CLOSE! But we were exhausted and had to call it a day.
Another view of the work in the Warehouse over time:
Looking from what is now the middle lounge/lobby toward the warehouse, 10 years in the past. The new owner had begun framing out walls and a doorway for French doors to be installed, including insulation to keep things more cozy.
Similar view, as it was left by the preschool, with high cabinets on the walls to keep little fingers from getting into everything. The French doors opening into the warehouse space are so inviting, and since they are exterior-grade doors they control sound even better than regular interior doors.
From our work party near the end of August. You can see the new plywood walls are up all around, the front wall has a layer of drywall cladding so we can attach mirrors to it, and the thick plastic vapor barrier is going down. I just love how much natural light floods the space from the high windows.
Finishing the floor and priming the mirror wall for mirror installation. Our backs and knees got the biggest workout! I have since installed trim around the edge of the room, and we have set up student cubbies and a small seating area off to the side. Mirrors are on order and we don’t have a delivery date yet, but hopefully soon! We don’t need mirrors to start dancing, though, so we’re starting classes next week!!
Stay tuned for another update soon, including before and after photos of our beautiful smaller studio, The Jewel Box! If you like what you see, learn how you can help us with our project at http://www.studiodeeproots.com