Statesboro’s city Greener Boro Commission and the Fab Lab at Georgia Southern University’s downtown City Center are teaming up to host monthly Fix-It Fridays beginning this Friday, July 14, from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the Fab Lab, 62 East Main St.
The greener purpose is to give people an opportunity to repair broken items for free and keep them in use and avoid throwing them away, Greener Boro Chair Lissa Leege explained in an email. Free hamburgers “and camaraderie with the repair experts,” will be added attractions for this Friday’s event, she said.
Leege, Ph.D., a Georgia Southern biology professor and previous Center for Sustainability director, described Fix-It Fridays as “part of an ongoing campaign to reduce waste and encourage innovation.”
This month, the scheduled experts should be able to help with electrical repairs, such as basic wiring for broken toasters, coffee makers and small appliances and with furniture repairs, especially those that can be made using wood glue.
At future Fix-It Fridays, assistance with basic bicycle and sewing repairs is expected to be available, as well as further help with electrical and wood glue repairs, she said.
Greener Boro previously offered one fix-it opportunity at the Main Street Farmers Market, noted City Councilwoman Shari Barr, who attends most of the commission’s meetings.
“I’m thrilled that we have more opportunities to reduce, reuse and recycle, and this is definitely helping people to reuse,” Barr said.
Patrick Woock, Ph.D., who arrived in March as the new director of Georgia Southern’s Business Innovation Group, says he saw similarities between work that BIG’s Fab Lab Shop Manager Jim Walker was doing to assist business owners with making and fixing things and Greener Boro’s repair and reuse effort.
Woock talked with his predecessor as BIG director, Dr. Dominique Halaby, now GS associate provost for innovation and commercialization, and others about how the two organizations could work together to build a bigger, recurring event with the added goal of drawing more people to downtown Statesboro.
“We said in the old days you’d get together and have some burgers and have some music and make stuff,” Woock said. “At least when I was growing up as a nerd, that’s what we did.”
Only with this project, it’s fixing instead of making stuff.
The Fab Lab, which is an arm of the Business Innovation Group, and Greener Boro have already made a 12-month commitment for Fix-It Fridays, according to Woock. The regular time will be 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. the second Friday of each month, and the Fab Lab is even supplying some “hamburger money,” he said.“I think it’s a beautiful thing,” Woock said. “It brings people downtown to do something, I don’t want to say other than shopping, but it gives them another reason to come.”