Before Your Clock Strikes Midnight…

With every door that closes another one opens… that pretty much sums up what SCRaP in Billings has been doing.
In August, we found out our lease would not be renewed. With the flooding the MRM had experienced they would be needing our building back. We knew when we signed the lease this could happen,  we also knew a 1 year commitment would tell us if our mission would be embraced or was it just a crazy dream. I am happy to say we have been embraced in so many ways…amazing volunteers, repeat customers, donations galore and a community that could see our vision.
In August, we started looking for our next home, this was not an easy task. We needed more room (hard to believe you can fill up 12,00 square feet in one short year all on donations, but we did). We also knew we needed more room with those wanting to create, teach and learn.
The feelers were out as we looked at several buildings, but nothing seemed to fall together. Then at the last minute before our lease nearly expired, we found the Pelican Oil Bulk Plant building at the end of Montana Ave on 18th St. we signed the lease on the 10th. On Nov.12 the whirl wind started with a horse trailer, several pickups, a couple U Haul trucks, a group of supportive volunteers and the move was happening. Box after box was moved into this super cool 3 floor 20,000 sq. ft. warehouse. I have no idea where we had everything in the old building as we have seemed to really spread out here, but it’s great.
Our goal was to have the main SCRaP store open for the Holiday Art Walk on Dec.2. We did it… the SCRaP store was arranged; the doors were open and people were coming in to see the new digs.
A new format was established. The SCRaP store is merchandised to feel like a craft center. The Upcycle Boutique is going to be run by another group of women; the grade school outreach is on board to start with 3 schools in January; our craft classes are scheduled to take off in January, studio space has been rented with space for more artists to join in.
However, Thursday Dec. 8th we were visited by the Fire Dept. They had received an anonymous inquiry on the change of usage of this building. We were unaware the building needed change but have since learned they feel it is and we must do some things to accommodate the codes. Until we get the approved change of usage, we have been instructed not to open to the public. We apologize for any inconvenience to you, our dear customers.
We hired an architect go over the building and put together a plan to submit to the city. Randy Hafer of High Plains Architects is representing us and we are excited to have him take the lead. Unfortunately, this process could take 3 to 6 weeks. With that being said, we missed the holiday season and can’t open to classes until work is complete. We a bit of luck and help from our fabulous volunteers, we are hoping to be open by Artwalk in February.
We felt it was important to tell you what was happening to reassure you we are here to stay only to get bigger and better.
Our last reminder as you consider your year-end donations, keep us in mind.  If you have creative items to donate, have woodworking, metal or crafting tools you no longer need but want to see them go to a good cause, or would like to make a financial donation to support our classes and crafts for the kids, we would be honored and appreciate your donation.
We are also accepting memberships to get full use of our facility, so if you would like join, or to give a gift membership to a friend or family member, we are currently taking signups.  Rates are $50 per month, with a 20% discount for prepaid year.
We are a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit
•    We are a community of like-minded people sharing the passion of creative reuse.
•    Our vision is to provide affordable materials to all by accepting donations of anything a creative person can use.
•    We offer shared space and tools to be used to promote the creativity of our members.
•    We offer in house and outreach programs in the visual arts for both kids and adults.
•    We provide a space for people to be creative, meet, learn and have fun.
•    We believe in sharing the gifts we have been given.

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